BEDFORD, N.Y. – Mary Richardson Kennedy, 52, the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., was found dead in her Bedford home Wednesday afternoon, an investigator for the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office said.
The autopsy will be performed Thursday, the investigator said. No official cause of death was given, but published reports say she hanged herself.
The Richardson family said in a statement, “We deeply regret the death of our beloved sister Mary, whose radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her. Our heart goes out to her children who she loved without reservation.
“We have no further comment at this time."
The statement was delivered via email from Kerry A. Lawrence of the White Plains law firm Calhoun & Lawrence.
A friend of Robert Kennedy's, Robert Pavone, expressed his concern for the Kennedys' four children in a phone interview Wednesday evening.
"My heart goes out to Bobby," Pavone said. "He's a good man. He and the kids are distraught, and all you can do is feel compassion for them."
"Those boys are the most respectful, obedient kids I have ever been out with. They're polite. They're just warm, nice kids," he said.
Pavone, a former Cortlandt police chief, said he did not know Mary Kennedy. He serves on the boards of several organizations for which Robert Kennedy serves as an attorney, including the New York State Police Chiefs Benevolent Association, of which Pavone is president, and New York State CrimeStoppers, of which Pavone is chair.
The death is under investigation by the Bedford Police Department with assistance from the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office.
The couple had been married for 16 years before splitting in 2010. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the chief prosecuting attorney for the environmental organization Riverkeeper, filed a matrimonial action on May 12, 2010, three days before Mary Kennedy was charged with driving while intoxicated near the Kennedy home in Bedford.
In August 2010, according to published reports at the time, she was again arrested while speeding on the Taconic State Parkway in Dutchess County and was charged with driving under the influence of drugs.
According to the reports, her license had been suspended in Westchester a month earlier, when she pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while impaired by alcohol, and she was driving on a restricted license that allowed her to drive for certain purposes.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the son of U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, both assassinated in the 1960s. Mary Richardson Kennedy was his second wife.