Sep 3, 2009 11:59 AM by Associated Press

Kennedy reflects on Chappaquiddick, drinking, assassinations in memoir

Ted Kennedy was haunted by the 1969 car crash that killed Mary Jo Kopechne, regretted drinking with his nephew in 1991 and was easily startled after his brothers' assassinations.

Those are some of the revelations in the late senator's memoir, "True Compass," which is being published this month.

Kennedy writes that his actions on Chappaquiddick Island were "inexcusable," when he drove off a bridge and swam to safety, leaving Kopechne in the car. He also says he was never romantically involved with Kopechne and barely knew her.

He writes about his "self-destructive drinking," especially after the 1968 death of his brother Robert. And he says after his brothers' assassinations, loud sounds startled him and he would hit the deck when a car backfired.

He expresses regret over getting drinks with nephew William Kennedy Smith before Smith was charged with rape in Florida. Smith was later acquitted.

Kennedy also writes that he accepted the conclusion of investigators who found that a lone gunman assassinated his brother John.



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