Robert F. Kennedy's Granddaughter Dead Of Apparent Drug Overdose At Kennedy Compound In Massachusetts

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How Did Robert F. Kennedy's Granddaughter Die? New Details On The Death Of Saoirse Kennedy Hill At 22
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Tragic news out of the Kennedy family again. 22-year-old Saoirse Kennedy Hill was found dead of an apparent drug overdose at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts on August 1. She is the granddaughter of Robert F. and Ethel Kennedy. Her 91-year-old grandmother lives at the Hyannnis Port estate. Saorise was the only child of Courtney Kennedy Hill. She was a student at Boston College set to graduate in 2020 with a degree in communications. She was reported dead at the Cape Cod Hospital. How did Robert F. Kennedy's granddaughter die? Here's what we know so far of this developing and tragic situation. 

1. The family's statement

The Kennedy family issued a statement to The New York Times saying, "Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse. Her life was filled with hope, promise and love. She cared deeply about friends and family, especially her mother Courtney, her father Paul, her stepmother Stephanie, and her grandmother Ethel.” It was reported that when Ethel Kennedy heard about her granddaughter's death she said Saoirse “lit up our lives with her love, her peals of laughter and her generous spirit. The world is a little less beautiful today.”

2. Saorise battled depression

Three years ago, when Saoirse was in high school, she published an essay in the online newspaper for Deerfield Academy talking about her recurring episodes of depression. “My depression took root in the beginning of my middle school years and will be with me for the rest of my life. Although I was mostly a happy child, I suffered bouts of deep sadness that felt like a heavy boulder on my chest. These bouts would come and go, but they did not outwardly affect me until I was a new sophomore at Deerfield,” she wrote. She then went on to reveal that someone she knew had broken "serious sexual boundaries" with her. She didn't report it, she tried to ignore it and it became too much for her to handle.

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3. Her suicide attempt

Saoirse attempted to commit suicide while she was in high school, which led to her leaving school temporarily to seek treatment for depression. She was an advocate for ending the stigma surrounding mental illness, writing: “People talk about cancer freely; why is it so difficult to discuss the effects of depression, bi-polar, anxiety, or schizophrenic disorders? Just because the illness may not be outwardly visible doesn’t mean the person suffering from it isn’t struggling. I have experienced a lot of stigma surrounding mental health on Deerfield’s campus.”

4. She was Vice President of the College Democrats

Saoirse would have been a senior at Boston College in the fall. She was vice president of BC's College Democrats. Marcus Breen, one of her professors, said: “In classes she was often the first student to offer an opinion on readings that demanded clear critique about the challenges of contemporary society. ” 

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5. Maria Shriver's statement

Maria Shriver took to Twitter to say: "Life is fragile and heartbreaking. It turns upside down in a minute. Love your children, hold them tight. Love your family, hold them close. Love your friends, keep them near. Be gentle with others, as so many are fragile and struggling." She shared an image that said: "A brave young woman left our world yesterday. She left a gaping hole in the lives of all those who loved her dearly. May God bless her. May God hold her parents during this unbearable hour and give them the strength to make it through. Amen."

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6. Her parents

Saoirse Hill was the only child of Courtney Kennedy Hill, the fifth of Robert and Ethel Kennedy's 11 children. Her father is Paul Michael Hill, one of the "Guildford Four" — one of four men falsely convicted of the 1974 bombings of two Irish pubs by the IRA. He spent 15 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The 1993 Daniel Day Lewis movie In The Name of the Father is based on him. 

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7. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s statement

In an Instagram post, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. posted a photo of him with his niece and wrote: "We’ve lost our daughter and our children, their sister. Saoirse was fierce, both in her love for her family and yearning for justice. A fearless adventurer, she inspired curiosity and daring in her friends. But her greatest gift was to find humor in everything and to give us all the gift of her laughter — and our own. The gaping hole that she leaves in our family is a wound too large to ever heal. 1) Saoirse at our Cape House. 2) Leaping from jetty with cousin Michaela. 3) Cheryl moves Saoirse into Boston College dorm. 4) On stage with Kenny Chesney at Foxborough with Courtney, Noah, and Kenny in mid leap. 5) with her cousins on Glide. 6) with cousin Noah on boom. 7) New Years Day On summit of Ajax with cousins. 8) A luminous, beautiful soul. 9) with Cheryl at Cape. 10) Swinging on halyard into Nantucket Sound."

8. The toxicology report

Local authorities said that police responded to the scene on Friday in Hyannis Port at about 3pm. The Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office said that Saoirse was found unresponsive at the scene. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Prosecutors said: “An autopsy performed today has revealed no trauma inconsistent with lifesaving measures,” prosecutors said. “The cause and manner of death are pending the toxicology report.”

9. Cause of death revealed

Radar confirmed Hill's death was the cause of an accidental overdose. According to The Barnstable Town Clerk, "According to her death certificate, the manner of death is accident and the cause of death, what they have listed, sequentially listed as the medical cause, they have the first one as acute methadone, diazepam, nordiazepam, fluoxetine, norfluoxetine. Due to or as a consequence of ethanol toxicity (alcohol).”

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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