ROBERT KENNEDY JR has said that he did everything he could to help his estranged wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, who died last week by apparent suicide.
Richardson Kennedy had suffered from depression and substance abuse problems.
Giving an emotional eulogy at her funeral on Saturday, he told mourners that he had spoken to his wife the day before she was found dead.
“She really fought so hard,” he said. “She had these demons, and she didn’t deserve it. I know I did everything I could to help her.”
Friends of Mary have said she struggled to come to terms with separating from her husband, who is now in a relationship with actor Cheryl Hines. Robert Kennedy filed for divorce in 2010 and the process was still ongoing when Mary was found dead last week.
However, he identified a different reason for her unhappiness: their move from the vibrant Manhattan neighbourhood of SoHo to a suburban town, and the resentment she felt over him asking her to give up her career as an architect to raise their four children, reports the Telegraph.
Friends and family gathered on Saturday at a modest stone church in a hamlet north of New York City for the funeral.
‘She was an angel’
The service, held on a beautiful spring morning, was private, but the list of celebrities attending was a testament to both Kennedy star power, and Mary’s knack for friendship.
The mourners included actors Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase and Edward James Olmos, tennis great John McEnroe and musician Paul Shaffer. Glenn Close sang and “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David spoke during the ceremony, according to a program left at the church.
Speaking to reporters outside the church before the service, Mary’s sister-in-law and nearly lifelong friend, Kerry Kennedy, recalled her as “brilliant” and “beautiful.”
“She cared so very, very deeply about everybody around her,” she said.
But she added that Kennedy had fought a lifelong struggle against depression.
“She was an angel who was brought to us, to live with us here on earth, and I think that God just brought her back up to heaven, and said, ‘You don’t have to fight for me anymore,’” Kerry Kennedy said, her voice breaking.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press