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US Diary: The cautionary tale of a Kennedy


EXPENSIVE TASTE: Singing star Jessica Simpson wanted 'The Tonight Show' to pick up the large tab for her hair and make-up. Photo credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

EXPENSIVE TASTE: Singing star Jessica Simpson wanted 'The Tonight Show' to pick up the large tab for her hair and make-up. Photo credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

EXPENSIVE TASTE: Singing star Jessica Simpson wanted 'The Tonight Show' to pick up the large tab for her hair and make-up. Photo credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Robert Kennedy Jr. just can't catch a break. The 60-year-old environmental lawyer, who is set to walk up the aisle with Curb Your Enthusiasm actress Cheryl Hines any day, is once again at the centre of a juicy tabloid scandal. This time, the Kennedy scion is being accused of cheating on his fiancee with Chelsea Chapman Kirwan, the estranged wife of wealthy Connecticut plastic surgeon Laurence Kirwan, whose lawyer Mark Sherman has vowed to put Chelsea's alleged "inappropriate relationship" in the spotlight at the couples' now highly anticipated July 22 divorce hearing.

Published reports based on investigations by The National Enquirer and Daily Mail claim the purported illicit affair began before the Kirwans' July 2012 separation, which would be about eight months after RFK Jr and the Suburgatory actress, 48, started dating. Which would also have been just two months after Kennedy's estranged second wife Mary Richardson committed suicide in a barn at their Connecticut home.

"Mary couldn't deal with his philandering - one of the reasons why she hung herself," celebrity biographer Jerry Oppenheimer told the NY Post last Thursday. "I still find it amazing that Cheryl Hines wants to join the ranks of Kennedy wives who have gone through hell. Maybe, with this latest reported affair in the headlines, she might back off - at least until he got some help."

Oppenheimer, who has chronicled the lives of Hillary and Bill Clinton, Anna Wintour and Ethel Kennedy in 12 best-selling unauthorised bios, decided to write the first book on RFK Jr soon after Richardson's tragic death.

At the time, his take sounded sympathetic. "He had none of the movie-star looks of his glamorous cousin [John Kennedy Jr] but he had a far more dramatic, far more successful, far more controversial and far more scandalous life," Oppenheimer said just after he signed a deal with St. Martin's Press.

"I want to make it clear I am not out to do a hit job on this guy. Bobby was in 
his teens when he lost his father. He was so wild, his mother basically kicked him out of the house . . . he's had a difficult life. This is a man who is driven by a lot of passion and also driven by demons, it is really a cautionary tale.

He is a sympathetic guy, but he is also driven and 
ambitious and - what we know now about his relationships with women - rather reckless."

Last week, not so much.

"Anyone who knows Bobby intimately should be aware that he has an addictive personality involving both drugs and sex," the author told the Post when asked if he thinks the allegations came as news to Hines.

"Bobby seemingly was able to bring his drug addiction under control after his arrest for heroin possession back in the early 1980s," Oppenheimer added.

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"It's clear that he has not been able to control his compulsive and reckless obsession with sex, which has ruined two of his marriages."

Kennedy and Hines, who are scheduled to wed in Hyannis Port, have yet to make any comment.

Pippa pulls off a big payday

Pippa Middleton apparently has a lot riding on the public reaction to her two-part interview with NBC's Today show which airs stateside tomorrow and Tuesday. $600,000 (€440,000) to be exact.

Word is the network - which has former first daughters Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush locked into exclusive "special correspondent" deals - is convinced that having the younger Middleton on its roster will give its ratings a dramatic boost.

Given the buzz Pippa has already stirred up in promotional teases for tomorrow's appearence they might on to something.

"I mean, obviously she has pressures that she's taken on and things. But we spend a lot of time together," Pippa says, discussing her relationship with her sister in one clip.

"We still do a lot together as a family. And I think that's really the heart for all of us - having a really close family that we can sort of be normal with each other, treat each other normally. And that's sort of kept us all, you know, affixed to the ground."

If the deal goes through, Pippa would be expected to handle the kind of insider-glam assignments she already turns out for Vanity Fair, leaving Jenna to handle the mommy/family beat and Chelsea to deal with the more serious topics - like education, gender and economic disparities.

Leno's man spills on celebs

Dave Berg, a long-time senior producer on Jay Leno's 
Tonight Show, is getting his own back on the many celebrities who rubbed him up the wrong way in his new bio Behind The Curtain.

In particular, Berg tells tales on the likes of Jessica Simpson who only agreed to appear if The Tonight Show picked up her $18,000 (€13,000) hair-and-make-up tab - they passed - and Teri Hatcher, whose assistant asked Berg to gift the actress a a $2,000 (€1,500)Louis Vuitton bag after she got bumped from the show in 2009 (she got flowers instead).

Eddie Murphy was up there with diva demands and Berg gleefully replicates the ridiculous rider list of items he required in the green room: "4 Snapple Fruit Punch, 4 Snapple Orangeade, 4 Snapple Grapeade, 4 Dr. Browne's Cream Soda, 4 Dr. Browne's Root Beer, Coke in glass bottles, bananas, cherries, Evian bottled water, Juicy Fruit gum, Snickers, Milky Ways, peppermints, York Peppermint Patties, writing pads, pencils, pens, regular-sized towels, washcloths/small".)

But it was attitude, as displayed by Christian Bale, that really got under Berg's skin. Bale, he reports, abruptly cancelled his appearance after questions in the pre-interview got too personal.

"I had asked him where he grew up (Wales), how big his family was (three sisters), and what his first gig was (a Pac-Man cereal commercial)."

Sarah Palin also made a big impression on Berg. In 2010 she asked for a private jet to fly her from Alaska to Burbank at a cost of $35,000 (€25,700).

She got it.

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