Ted Kennedy's posthumous memoir True Compass is scheduled to hit shelves on September 14, and the content may be enough to clear up some of the stigma surrounding Kennedy's reputation. Celebrity Love: Ted Kennedy's Romantic History
In the book, Kennedy attempts to extinguish one of the most infamous stories about his past. In 1969 after a party with campaign staff in Martha's Vineyard, he drunkenly drove a car into a lake and killed the car's passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne. The incident has gone down in history being referred to as "Chappaquiddick," the name of the town where it all went down, and much of the public still blames Kennedy for Kopechne's death.
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There's also been a lot of question surrounding Kennedy's relationship with her, and in the memoir he attempts to put the speculation to rest. He writes, "That night on Chappaquiddick Island ended in a horrible tragedy that haunts me every day of my life," but that they did not have a relationship and that he barely knew her. Their only bond, Yahoo! News reports, is that they were both saddened by the recent death of Ted's brother Robert in 1968. YourTango Quiz: Are You Having An Emotional Affair?
Ted was married to Joan Kennedy when the accident occurred, and while he was known for philandering with other women throughout their marriage (and most of his life), in the memoir he tries to quelch the nastiest of the rumors. With a collaborator he wrote statements like:
"I have enjoyed the company of women...I have enjoyed a stiff drink or two or three, and I've relished the smooth taste of a good wine. At times, I've enjoyed these pleasures too much. I've heard the tales about my exploits as a hell-raiser—some accurate, some with a wisp of truth to them and some so outrageous that I can't imagine how anyone could really believe them."
But his behavior behind closed doors—often, not tightly closed doors—seemed to dignify the rumors. Kennedy was involved in a sex scandal in 1991 when he and his nephew William K. Smith got drunk and William was accused of raping a woman. In the memoir, Ted reportedly states that he regrets playing any part in the drama. He was also busted by paparazzi having sex on a European holiday with an unknown woman in the late 1980s, and apparently the book details hiding to dodge sexual abuse by a headmaster of the private school in the Bronx that he attended as a child.
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The New York Times and New York Daily News obtained advance copies of the book.
Photo courtesy Flickr user desertpenguinphotos.