He suggests his aunt Rosemary Kennedy could have been treated for mental illness rather than receiving a lobotomy ordered by family patriarch Joseph Kennedy.
Patrick Kennedy told MSNBC that while his mother had in effect disavowed the book, both he and his co-author had interviewed her for it. He acknowledged that he hadn’t sent her a copy earlier because the release date was Monday, and he didn’t think she would read it right away. Ted Kennedy’s addiction to alcohol and the substance abuse problems faced by other members of the Kennedy clan has sparked a bitter rift in the family.
“I’m a strong supporter of my cousin and all of his efforts around mental health and substance abuse”, Rep. Kennedy told reporters after testifying at the State House in favor of a transgender anti-discrimination bill.
Also timed with the book’s release was a brief from the Kennedy Forum, the organization Patrick started past year that aims to recast the infrastructure around behavioral healthcare. It occurred as the anniversary approached.
He says his father spoke with him only once about his 1969 auto accident on Chappaquiddick Island that killed his father’s passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. “Subsequently we only walked in quiet”. His father’s second wife, Vicki Kennedy, has not publicly commented on the book.
In 1991, Patrick and his siblings attempted an intervention to stop their father’s drinking.
Patrick Kennedy said he understood why the dispute has arisen. He recounts other incidents he attributed to drinking: berating a security guard at the Los Angeles airport and having his girlfriend call the Coast Guard to retrieve her off his boat.
The Kennedy family has been a part of the American political landscape for generations.
His relationship with his father was chilly for years after that, he writes. The couple met after his dad expired in 2009.
The book, A Common Struggle, not only touches on Kennedy’s own struggles with bipolar disorder and addiction – which was made apparent when the Rhode Island representative drove his vehicle into a traffic barrier on Capitol Hill in 2006 – but also the “code of silence” that he says keeps his family members from addressing and treating their own addiction issues. Joan’s statement is completely opposite of Patrick, who during an interview has claimed that he has consulted his mother.