Michael Skakel VS Michael Kennedy
The Babysitter Scandal
In the early 90's Michael Skakel graduated from Curry College in Massachusetts. Unable to secure a job, his cousin Michael Kennedy offered him a job at his company, Citizens Energy Corp. In his book proposal for "Dead Man Talking", Skakel claims that he and Kennedy became very close during this time. It had been reported that Mike Skakel was Kennedy's trusted chauffeur, but Skakel refutes this, saying he worked his way up to Director of International Programs. Whatever his true position ended up to be, the fact remains that Skakel was unable to find employment, and Kennedy provided him with a job.
The families became close and spent much of their free time traveling and hanging out together. Skakel claims on one occaision he and his wife Margot noticed an inappropriate contact between Michael Kennedy and his families underage babysitter. According to Skakel, Kennedy and the young girl were very demonstrative in their affection and it was clearly visible to anyone wishing to take notice. In another incident Skakel relates that he joined Michael Kennedy and his children on a camping trip where Kennedy and the babysitter took off for a period of time. They returned and teased each other about where they had been in front of the Kennedy's own children, Michael JR, son from his wife, Victoria Gifford Kennedy, was not amused.
Skakel became the source for an article the Boston Globe ran revealing the affair which resulted in naming the child. The authorities were alerted and Skakel became the star witness against his cousin in the possible prosecution of Kennedy on statutory rape charges. In the state of Massachusetts, a child must be under the age of consent, 16 in this case, in order to have criminal charges placed against the adult participant in the act. Skakel alleges that the victim herself told him that she had at least one sexual encounter with Kennedy 6 months prior to her 16th birthday. If this were true, Kennedy was looking at being charged with a serious crime.
Because of the media attention which swarmed around this case, the victim's parents became very concerned with the long range effect a trial could have on their child, who had already been humiliated enough in the press, as soon as Skakel revealed her name to reporters. The prosecution met with them several times and it was their desire to not proceed with the charges. Without a victim, it would have been very difficult if not impossible, to obtain a conviction on Kennedy as Skakel's statements would have stood alone. Without coaboration from the young girl, the state did not have a very strong case.
Eventually, the investigation was dropped. The prosecutor told the victim and her family that he would be willing to go forward at a later date, should they change their minds. The attorney for the victim's family released a statement thanking the prosecutor for their help and the investigation was basically over.
Whether the affair actually took place before the legal age of consent is anyone's guess. More likely than not, it did. It would be a wretched thing for Skakel to have publicly named this girl if it did not happen. The prosecutor himself believes it did. It certainly would not be the first time that a Kennedy male was under public scrutiny for his misbehavior with a female other than his wife, but in this instance, .
What resulted from this incident is very interesting. Skakel claims to have told congressmen Joe Kennedy about the affair in hope that he would assist Skakel in having Michael Kennedy discontinue contact with the young girl. Skakel claims that Joe Kennedy would not help him. Kennedy later states to the press that he was not aware of his brother's indiscretion. A comment that is surely open to speculation if what Skakel says is true. Those close to Kennedy have alleged to have confirmed there was indeed an affair, but argue it began after the young girl was of legal age of consent, therefore, although morally repugnant, not a criminal offense.
Skakel alleges in his "Dead Man Talking" book proposal that speaking out against Michael Kennedy has caused him to suffer the wrath of those that go up against the ruthless "Kennedy political machine". He professes to be the only insider to ever publicly expose a Kennedy misdeed. He further adds this has resulted in camp Kennedy retaliating against Skakel in the form of character assassination. To date, I have yet to read anything stated publicly from a Kennedy or insider, that confirms Skakel's allegations, therefore, if anything has been said, it would seem the attack was made to other Kennedy family members or friends in their tight knit inner circle. Certainly a possibility.
In examining the babysitter scandal one must ask themselves if Skakel's intentions were as innocent as they may first appear. If he truly wished to save the Michael Kennedy's marriage, save the young girl and her family, and do the right thing, why did he go to the press and release the girl's name? Why did he involve Joe Kennedy in it? Why, for that matter, did he state to the prosecutor that he handed over letters to Victoria Kennedy which were written by Michael Kennedy to the young girl? Why did he drag in auntie Ethel? For verification? Surely, no adult that was aware of this affair would admit knowing about it prior to this girl becoming of legal age of consent. What did Skakel have to gain by telling the prosecutors this?
It is quite possible that Skakel was on his own campaign. A campaign to besmudge the names of people that just might have something to say about his own involvement with a teenage girl 25 years ago. Skakel eludes to this "character assassination" but does not elaborate. He does mention that he was threatened. Was Martha Moxley the weapon used to threaten him? Was there good reason for Skakel to be afraid? Is it possible that his Kennedy relatives did intervene on his behalf a quarter of a century earlier and now were going to withdraw their support. worse yet, see that justice was done in the Moxley case? It seems Skakel is quite concerned about this possibility.
It is most unlikely that any Kennedy is going to come out at this time and speak openly about the Moxley murder. It would certainly not be to their benefit to confess any knowledge they may have had 25 years ago, today in the year 2000. For a family whose reputation has gone through the shredder in the last 30 years, adding something as explosive, not to mention the criminal undertones, does not seem something this family is about to risk. It appears the most they are willing to do is keep quiet and not show any public support to their Skakel relatives in thier time of need. Quite curious in itself considering Ethel and Ted were at the plate batting for William Kennedy Smith in his rape trial in the early 90's. Interestingly enough, Skakel claims in his book proposal, Smith did rape the woman but got off. It does allow room for speculation what the Kennedy's collective silence means in Skakel's arrest for the Moxley murder.
The babysitter scandal coupled with the book proposal for "Dead Man Talking" does seem to be an unecessarily harsh way to get back at his relatives. Do we all really need to know about another Kennedy affair? Why now, with Michael Kennedy in his grave, would Mike Skakel wish to approach a publisher with his insider trash on the Kennedy family? Sure, it would have sold, but is publishing a tell-all trash book part of the 12 step program that Mike is so proud of? Might there be another reason for Skakel's strategy? Very curious indeed!