Joan Kennedy, Children Settle Guardianship
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press Writer 12 minutes ago
BOSTON - Joan Kennedy has reached a settlement with her children in their fight for legal guardianship of their mother, who has struggled with alcoholism for decades, a spokeswoman for her son U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy said Sunday.
Joan Kennedy, the former wife of U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, and her three children were scheduled to appear in a Cape Cod courtroom Monday, but Patrick Kennedy's spokeswoman, Robin Costello, told The Associated Press that the hearing had been canceled following a settlement.
"I'm not privy to the details," Costello added.
It was unclear whether the children would take legal guardianship of Joan Kennedy, 68, who has been arrested several times for drunken driving and gone through rehab repeatedly. In March, she was hospitalized with a concussion and a broken shoulder after a passer-by found her sprawled on a Boston sidewalk.
Word of a possible settlement was first reported Saturday by The Providence Journal. On Sunday, the Boston Herald reported that the settlement — reached Friday — calls for Joan Kennedy to enter alcohol rehab and take her $6.4 million oceanfront Cape Cod home off the market. The newspaper said two court-appointed trustees would control her house and other assets.
Patrick Kennedy, 37, and his siblings — Kara Kennedy Allen, 45, and Edward M. Kennedy, Jr., 44 — took temporary legal guardianship of their mother last year. They planned to seek permanent custody of her affairs on Monday.
Joan Kennedy didn't contest her children's bid for guardianship last July, when Barnstable Probate and Family Court Judge Robert Terry ruled that she was "incapable of taking care of herself by reason of mental illness."
A message left at the Boston office of the children's lawyer, Augustus F. Wagner Jr., wasn't immediately returned. Other attempts to reach him and an attorney for Joan Kennedy weren't successful.
Damn shame a rich woman of privilege can't find peace anywhere but in a bottle...