Darkness has once again befallen the Kennedy family.
As loved ones mourn the shocking death of Mary Kennedy, whose autopsy revealed that she died of asphyxiation due to hanging, her estranged husband, Robert Kennedy Jr., is speaking out about his late wife and the all-too-consuming demons that she battled.
"A lot of times I don't know how she made it through the day," Robert Jr. tells The New York Times. "She was in a lot of agony for a lot of her life."
On Wednesday, Mary, 52, was found hanging inside a barn on the Bedford, N.Y., property she once shared with Robert Jr. and their four children.
The two had been estranged after Robert Jr. filed for divorce in 2010 and closed the book on their 16-year marriage.
That year, she was arrested twice—once for driving while intoxicated and again for driving under the influence of prescription medication. Her license was subsequently suspended, and she was ordered to join an alcohol rehab program.
Robert Jr., who is reportedly dating Suburgatory star Cheryl Hines, tells the Times that he and Mary had been living apart for four years but that their homes were only "a few hundred yards" away from each other.
He also reminisces about first meeting her when she was 14 after she befriended his sister in boarding school, and how the two became romantically involved as adults in the mid-'90s after Robert Jr., who had just divorced his first wife, became newly single.
"Every member of my family, long before I married her, considered her a Kennedy," Robert Jr. says of Mary.
The Times reports that Mary suffered from depression and had previously spoken about suicide. In 2007, per the Westchester Journal News, Robert Jr. reportedly attempted to drive Mary to a hospital to get her psychological help, but she bolted from the car and out toward the road.
Yesterday, the Kennedy family released a statement that sought to rectify the media's portrait of Mary, which they found to be "wholly inconsistent with the sister we knew and the life she, in fact, lived."
"We loved Mary and knew her to be an exceptional mother, sibling and friend to many," the statement said. "We would ask the media to give us a few days to begin processing Mary's tragic death, and to fully understand all the circumstances around it...There will be plenty of time to correct all the inaccuracies and misrepresentations we are seeing in the media. Thank you for your understanding."
The family is planning to hold a private funeral service on Saturday in Bedford, followed by a burial in Hyannisport, Mass., where the Kennedy family compound is located.