Kennedy Clan Warring Over Ted's Estate

Sons battling Vicki Kennedy over institute honoring late senator
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2012 1:21 AM CDT
Kennedy Clan Warring Over Ted's Estate
The main home in the Kennedy compound is now barred to family, and an institute founded in Ted Kennedy's name is charging family members a rental fee to use the lawn, reports the Boston Globe.   (AP Photo/Stew Milne, File)

All is not calm in Camelot. A major battle is building between Ted Kennedy's widow and his children over the establishment of a $71 million institution in the late senator's honor. The tension centers on the construction and management of the Edward Kennedy Institute for the US Senate, a close family source tells the Boston Globe. Ted's sons, Edward and Patrick, believe widow Vicki is bungling the operation, whose board has dodged requests to release a full financial accounting or reveal plans for governance of the institution, reports the Globe. "The children feel totally left out,’’ said a family friend. “Vicki totally controls the board.’’

Board chair Lee Fentress, a long-time friend of the late senator, denies the accusations. The board's dealings are transparent, and he intends to "meet in the coming days" with Edward Kennedy to "go over all this," he said. He also defends Vicki, saying Ted Kennedy "treasured" his second wife's counsel. "He trusted her judgement and instincts," he added. The extended family is also at odds with Vicki , particularly concerning the institution's takeover of the main mansion at the Kennedy family Hyannis Port compound, which was purchased by family patriarch Joseph Kennedy in the 1920s. The institute has barred use of the mansion by family members, and is charging them a rental fee even to use the lawn, notes the Globe. (Read more Vicki Kennedy stories.)

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