TED KENNEDY LEGACY: BOOZE BATTLES FOR EX-WIFE & SON

Published on: February 26, 2010
TED KENNEDY LEGACY: BOOZE BATTLES FOR EX-WIFE & SON

The untold shocking story behind why Patrick Kennedy has forsaken Congress - to help his mother Joan, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's ex, battle her booze-driven demons.

The untold shocking story behind why Patrick Kennedy has forsaken Congress - to help his mother Joan, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's ex, battle her booze-driven demons.

That's the heartbreaking family secret behind Congressman Patrick Kennedy's decision to quit politics - he's leaving public life to care for his troubled mother Joan.

The 42-year-old politician - who has battled his own addictions - is planning to move in with his mom and take control of her serious alcohol problem. Joan, 73, who has a long history of alcohol addiction and rehab attempts, tumbled off the wagon again after Ted Kennedy's death from brain cancer last Aug. 25, family sources told The ENQUIRER.

"His father is now gone, and Patrick doesn't want to lose his mother," a close family source divulged. "He's determined to save her - and devote his life to her as a caretaker.

"Patrick said, 'Mom's all I have left. I have to do something.'"

Patrick, who has never been married and has no children, has served Rhode Island as a member of the House of Representatives for the past 16 years. But he's decided not to run for a ninth term so he can help his mother.

"It's a valiant stance for Patrick because he's had issues with his own sobriety - but as someone recovering from addiction, he can help Joan," said the family source.

Patrick went through rehab as recently as this past July, when he checked himself into a facility because he said he was showing signs of a relapse.

Joan - who was married to Ted from 1958 to 1983 - had her stomach pumped after being rushed to a hospital the night the senator died, sources told The ENQUIRER.

She has been arrested four times for drunken driving and has been treated several times for alcohol abuse. In 2005, she was found sprawled on a sidewalk near her condo in Boston and was hospitalized with a concussion and a fractured shoulder.

Following that, her children - Patrick, Kara and Teddy Jr. - went to court to have her declared mentally incompetent and placed under temporary guardianship.

Despite several more public drunken episodes, Joan appeared to be making strides in her battle with the bottle. But she began to break down as Ted neared the end of his illness, sources told The ENQUIRER.

"Patrick has been terribly concerned about her," said another family insider. "That's why he's not going to seek re-election.

"It's a noble move - especially for someone who continues to battle his own demons."