Kerry Kennedy: “I wasn’t on drugs… I had a seizure”
Kerry Kennedy, the former wife of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, has pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a charge of driving while impaired by drugs. Kerry insists that her accident was caused by a “complex partial seizure” and not because she was on to something.
According to previous reports, 52-year-old Kerry Kennedy was found unconscious behind the wheels of her white Lexus on Friday morning at the Westchester County, town of North Castle and just an hour’s drive north of New York City. A witness to the accident said that Kerry had hit a tractor-trailer and subsequently fled the scene.
A police report states that Kerry Kennedy was swaying, had trouble speaking and even told a police officer who pulled her oever that she may have accidentally taken a sleeping pill on the morning prior to her accident.
While speaking after her arraignment in local court for her alleged driving under the influence of drugs, Kerry said that she was “erratic and confused” when she spoke to the police officer who found her and subsequently denied that her accident was caused by the drugs she took before getting behind the wheel of her vehicle.
“I have never had any history of drug or alcohol abuse,” Kerry Kennedy, who is known for her work in human rights, told reporters outside the North Castle Court. The former wife of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was flanked by members of her family as well as her lawyer in the case.
Kerry Kennedy said she did not remember anything that happened after she entered a southbound highway from her home to go to the gym, and before finding herself stopped at a traffic light with a police officer at the door of her white Lexus.
Several tests done at a local hospital soon after the incident showed no prescription drugs of alcohol in her system, Kerry said, and further neurological tests that have been done led the doctor who tested her to believe that she had suffered from a seizure for the first time in her life.
“This accident was not caused by a sleeping aid, but a complex partial seizure,” Kerry said. She then added that she would continue to seek treatment for her condition so that she should be able to live “symptom-free.”
A police report of Kerry’s accident said that blood test and urine test results are still pending. Such tests would be the subject of her next court appearance on August 14, her lawyer Robert Gottlieb said.
Kerry Kennedy gave and apology to the driver of the tractor-trailer she hit during her accident, as well as other drivers on the road Friday morning.
The accident of Kerry came just two months after her sister-in-law and close friend, Mary Kennedy, committed suicide. Mary Kennedy was said to be the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — the son of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy.
Kerry is known to be a human rights activist and writer. She is the seventh of the eleven children of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy and was known as Kerry Kennedy Cuomo from 1991 until 2003.
Since 1981, Kerry Kennedy has worked as a human rights activist, leading delegations into places like El Salvador, Gaza, Haiti, Kenya, Northern Ireland, and South Korea. She was also involved in causes in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Sudan, and Pakistan.
Kerry was the one who established the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights in 1988 and was also the Executive Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial until 1995. Since 2006, she is Honorary President of the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation of Europe, based in Rome, Italy. She is also the chair of the Amnesty International Leadership Council, and has been published in The Boston Globe, The Chicago Sun-Times, and The New York Times. She is a judge for the Reebok Human Rights Award.