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Joan Kennedy Denies Involvement in Son's Booze-and-Drugs Exposé

Image: Joan Kennedy Denies Involvement in Son's Booze-and-Drugs Exposé
 (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 07 Oct 2015 01:45 PM

The furor surrounding Patrick Kennedy's exposé of his family's struggles with booze, drugs, and mental illness has taken a startling new turn with Joan Kennedy denying her son's claims she helped him with the book.

"I had no knowledge that Patrick was writing a book and did not assist him in the project in any way," Sen. Ted Kennedy's first wife is quoted as saying in an e-mail sent to the Boston Globe by her friend Margo Nash, a Cape Cod lawyer.

"I was not given a copy of the book and have still not seen it or read it."

The Kennedy clan has been at odds over Patrick Kennedy's startling candid memoir "A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction," written with Stephen Fried and published by Blue Penguin.

In it, he chronicles his father's addiction to alcohol and the substance abuse problems faced by other members of the Kennedy family.

He tells of times he believes his father let him down and how he and his siblings tried to stage an intervention when their senator dad was drinking heavily in the wake of a rape charge against their cousin William Kennedy Smith.

He also spells out the mental health and addiction problems the Kennedy family has dealt with over the years.

The tell-all by the eight-term Rhode Island congressman has been trashed by his brother Ted Kennedy, Jr., a Connecticut state senator, who said:

"My brother's recollections of family events and particularly our parents are quite different from my own … Mental illness and addiction are critically important issues that deserve a serious discussion — not a narrative that is misleading and hurtful."

Ted Jr. also said the book painted an "inaccurate and unfair portrayal of our family" and that he was "heartbroken" over its release. Patrick's stepmother Vicki Kennedy was also reportedly displeased.

Patrick, the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, told The Globe earlier this week that his mother, who has fought her own addictions over the years, helped him get the book out and was his sole supporter.

Nash, Joan Kennedy's college classmate and a personal friend, said she would not comment further about her son's book.

"I spoke to her this morning, and that's the only comment she wants to make,'' Nash, a Cape Cod attorney, told the Globe.

But Patrick Kennedy's spokesman Jeff Valliere insisted that Joan Kennedy did participate.

"She was aware and participated and has been very supportive of his efforts as an activist for mental health and addiction," Valliere said.

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The furor surrounding Patrick Kennedy's exposé of his family's struggles with booze, drugs, and mental illness has taken a startling new turn with Joan Kennedy denying her son's claims she helped him with the book.
joan kennedy, patrick kennedy, ted kennedy, expose, drugs, alcohol
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2015-45-07
Wednesday, 07 Oct 2015 01:45 PM
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