Kennedy wasted no time playing the ‘Daddy’ card
By Andrea Peyser
February 27, 2014 | 1:56am
She’s a mom, a human-rights leader — oh, and another fatherless Kennedy.
Testifying in her own defense at her drugged driving trial Wednesday, Kerry Kennedy wasted little time before playing the “Daddy” card.
“Daddy was the attorney general during the civil rights movement and then a senator,” the 54-year-old testified, supposedly explaining why she grew up in Virginia, but coyly invoking the memory of her slain father, Sen Robert F. Kennedy.
As if jurors needed yet another reminder that a member of the American royal family was slumming right in front of their eyes.
“I have 10 brothers and sisters. My mother raised us because my father died when I was 8,” she said. Her lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt, asked how her father died.
“He was killed while running for president,” she reminded.
I guess we can shut the lights and go home now. Kerry has spoken.
Talking in a raspy voice, the niece of slain President John F. Kennedy (jurors were reminded of that one by her lawyer during his opening statement Monday) and former wife of Gov. Cuomo at times sounded mighty annoyed. Other times, it was as if she might cry when, for perhaps the first time in her charmed existence, things didn’t go Kerry’s way.
She told the packed Westchester County courtroom about her human-rights work that sent the jet-setter this month to fabulous places such as Greece and France where she had a critical meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry — yet another name-drop — about the persecution of homosexuals in the African nation of Uganda.
All this nonsense annoyed the judge.“There is no question about the work that you do, but I’m not sure this is the forum to go into this exhaustive detail,” said Acting Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary.
The six jurors and two alternates looked starstuck as Kerry pretended to be so ditzy, she may have once lost a vial of Ambien sleeping pills.
“I’m not the most organized person,’’ Kerry said with an exaggerated laugh while under cross-examination by an unamused Assistant District Attorney Doreen Lloyd.
Kennedy smashed her silver 2008 Lexus SUV into a tractor-trailer on Interstate 684 on July 13, 2012. Toxicology results later revealed she was under the influence of Ambien. She’s on trial for driving while ability impaired by drugs, a misdemeanor.
Under withering cross-examination, Lloyd hit Kerry with her own words.
She read from a self-serving statement Kerry gave four days after the crash. Kerry had said her doctors believed she suffered a “complex partial seizure’’ caused by an earlier brain injury.
And Kerry freaked out.
“Can I, can I just clarify?’’ she begged Judge Neary. He said no.
She couldn’t control herself.
“I just want to talk to you for a second,’’ Kerry whined directly to Neary. “If I answer something incorrectly, I can’t clarify that?’’ Neary told her she’d have to wait for a question from her own attorney before she’d get her say.
Lloyd was incredulous that, as Kennedy claims, she took a sleeping pill, mistaking it for her thyroid medication.
“It would have taken you only a second to read that pill bottle,” Lloyd said.
“I really wish I had or we wouldn’t be here today,” Kennedy replied, trying to laugh.
“Would you agree that was careless of you?” Lloyd asked.
“I would,” Kennedy answered.
Her last thought before she rammed her Lexus SUV into a tractor trailer?
“I remember thinking how beautiful the light was filtering through the trees at that hour,” she told jurors, who could start deliberations Thursday.
“And then I have no memory until my car was at a stop on Route 22,” where cops found her slumped over the wheel near her Bedford home.
Prosecutors stress that regardless of whether she took the Ambien by mistake, Kennedy should have pulled over as soon as she felt drowsy.
Kennedy claimed that after 10 years of taking Ambien, she had no idea how fast the drug makes her drowsy.
“I don’t really pay attention because I’m going to sleep,” Kennedy told jurors. “I just go to sleep.”
Adding star power to the session, Kerry’s 85-year old mother, Ethel, was joined by sisters Rory, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend — Maryland’s former lieutenant governor — and actress Diane Neal, who played a prosecutor on the TV show“Law and Order SVU.’’
They can’t save her from herself. Kerry should be locked up on grounds of bad taste alone.