Robert Kennedy Jr. Attempts To Profit from BP Oil Spill; Files for Second Divorce

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an environmental lawyer who blames President Bush for the BP oil spill, filed for divorce from his second wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, the mother of his four youngest children. Days after the divorce filing, Mary was arrested and charged with DWI. She will be in court on Thursday July 22 on the charges. Also, leading up to the split, police responded to several domestic incidents at the Kennedys’ home in tony Bedford, New York.

                                     Photo – Kennedy Green House

Kennedy, a longtime environmental activist, has been vocal in blaming the BP oil spill on “Big Oil” (capitalization, his) and the Bush administration. Five days before police were called to his house for a domestic incident, Kennedy wrote a column in Huffington Post entitled “Sex, Lies and Oil Spills.” Kennedy praised the “impressive response” of the Obama administration to BP’s spill.  He wrote that the “real culprit in this villainy is a negligent industry, the festering ethics of the Bush Administration and poor oversight by an agency corrupted by eight years of grotesque subservience to Big Oil.”

Kennedy claims to be speaking from a position of activist, however he is apparently trying to profit from the businesses affected be the oil spill. While filing for divorce and family drama, his personal website appears to have an advertisement for his law firm Kennedy & Madonna. “I have assembled a team of the top law firms in the country whose combined experience, knowledge and proven success are available to assist you if you have been impacted by the BP oil spill,” Kennedy posted on the site.

When called for comment, Kennedy’s law firm partner Kevin Madonna tells HUMAN EVENTS that “we are not charging anybody for work” related to the oil spill and “at this point, everything is pro bono”. 

As far as Kennedy’s appearance of profiting by posting what seems to be an advertisement on his environmental activist website, Madonna told HUMAN EVETNS: “I know what you are trying to get at and it’s really disingenuous.” Asked if the Kennedy & Madonna law firm was signing clients on a contingency basis, to be paid if the victims were awarded restitution funds, Madonna responded “no one is taking money from the victims.”  He conceded, however, that “of course people have to be paid for their work.”

Meanwhile on May 10, the Bedford Police went to the Kennedy home in response to a 911 call from Mary Kennedy. At the scene, Mary told the officers that her husband Robert was "verbally abusive to herself and her children." According to the police report, however, officers describe Mary as "visibly intoxicated" and having "great difficulty collecting her thoughts and articulating her reasons for calling." The Bedford Police determined that no one in the household was in danger. No charges were filed.

The Kennedy family home where the police have responded at least twice this year to 911 calls is also the subject of a book and website called “The Kennedy Green House.”  Mary Richardson Kennedy‘s book on “greening up” her home was published in April and described as “the story of the family’s journey to health, wellness, and a better lifestyle.”

                               Photo – Kitchen of Kennedy Green House (Robin Wilson)

Kennedy Green House is the family’s residence in Bedford. It remains unclear who will keep the house in the pending divorce. Mary’s attorney Kerry Lawrence told HUMAN EVENTS that she is still living in the house, but “would not comment on their matrimonial issues.”

Two days after the domestic incident at Kennedy’s house, Robert filed for divorce. The couple has been married for 16 years. Mary Richardson was six months pregnant when she married Robert Kennedy in a civil ceremony on a boat in the Hudson River. A month earlier, Robert went to the Dominican Republic to get a quickie divorce from Emily Black, the mother of his two oldest children.

The day after Robert filed for divorce, Bedford police responded to a 911 hang-up call from the Kennedy residence. At the house, the police witnessed a “verbal argument between the husband and wife.  Robert told police that Mary was intoxicated and "acting irrational."  The police checked on the safety of the household residents, including the couple’s four children, and allowed Robert to leave the home. Afterwards, the police determined the incident warranted “documentation” and filed a “State Domestic Incident Report.”

Two days later on May 15, Mary Kennedy was arrested for DWI outsider her children’s school. When police observed Kennedy drive her Volvo station wagon over a curb at 9pm outside the St. Patrick’s School, they pulled her over. The police administered field sobriety tests, which resulted in sufficient grounds for charging her with DWI.


Mary Richardson Kennedy was driven to the police department and processed, which included submitting to a mug shot (see photo). Kennedy agreed to submit to a breathalyzer test, using the “data master” equipment. Her blood-alcohol level was 0.11 percent, according to police records, and she was charged with misdemeanor DWI. (Felony DWI in New York State is based on priors and other factors).  Kennedy was driven home by someone who is “not a family member” (i.e. not her husband, Robert).

At the courthouse on May 28, Mary Richardson Kennedy pled not guilty on the charge of driving while intoxicated. Justice Kevin Quaranta told Kennedy that “this is going to be treated like any other case,” according to the Journal News.  Quaranta ordered Kennedy to surrender her driver’s license and undergo evaluation to determine if she needs treatment for alcohol abuse. Her attorney Kevin Lawrence would not comment on whether or not she will go to alcohol rehab for treatment.

Kennedy is due back at Bedford Town Court on Thursday July 22 for a conference on the DWI charge. Asked if Kennedy would maintain her not guilty plea, Lawrence tells HUMAN EVENTS that he “can’t really comment on what might or might not happen this week.”

When called for comment on Mary Richardson Kennedy’s case, Lieutenant Jeffery Dickan of the Bedford Police Department affirmed that the “data master” breathalyzer equipment used is modern equipment.

“I’ve never arrested anyone who is ‘guilty’,” joked Lieutenant Dickan. “They’re always announced until they take their plea.”

Dickan said that the Bedford area has long been the residence of the famous and powerful, but he’s “not impressed” by them. “I’ve been doing this for over 27 years. I’m just doing my job,” says the police officer.

Robert Kennedy, son of former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, has long held political aspirations. He was reportedly considered for Director of the Environmental Protection Agency in President Obama’s administration.

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In 2007, he told  New York Magazine  that with Eliot Spitzer in the governor’s mansion and Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton holding the U.S. Senate seats, he felt “pretty much boxed out in New York.”  In 2005, Kennedy considered a run for New York attorney general, but decided his family life was his priority.

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