Kennedy says `alcoholism in is the family genes'

Robert Kennedy Junior, the environmental activist son of the United States senator shot dead in 1968, said in a television interview that he feels "in many ways I was born alcoholic", and believes that alcoholism is in the genes of the Kennedy family.

In the CBS News 60 Minutes interview, to be broadcast on Sunday, he talked about his battle with alcohol and drugs. Also appearing, among the eight Kennedys on the show, were his sisters, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, and his brothers Christopher and Max. CBS News called it the largest gathering of third-generation Kennedys for a television interview.

Robert Kennedy Jr said he warned his children about the dangers of drinking alcohol, particularly for Kennedys. "I talk to them about my own experience and they're all aware of that," he said in the interview at Hickory Hill, the Kennedy estate in McLean, Virginia. "I tell them that it's in their genes. I feel in many ways that I was born alcoholic."

Alcohol and drugs have played a role in many of the political dynasty's scandals and tragedies, including speculation that Senator Ted Kennedy was drunk when he drove his car in 1969 into a pond at Chappaquiddick, killing Mary Joe Kopechne. The Senator has denied being drunk at the time.

David Kennedy, another son of Robert F Kennedy, died in 1984 from an overdose of cocaine and prescription drugs in Palm Beach, Florida.

Michael Kennedy, one of his brothers, reportedly went into rehabilitation when his wife caught him in bed with their children's baby-sitter and he blamed the incident on an alcohol problem. The episode was revealed earlier this year but a police investigation was dropped when the teenager refused to press charges against 39-year-old Mr Kennedy.

- Reuters

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