Mary Richardson Kennedy tragically took her own life on Wednesday afternoon and RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned the fear of her estranged husband taking custody of their children weighed heavily on her.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. filed for divorce from Mary in 2010 and although the paperwork was never finalized, the couple were due to head to trial regarding it shortly — and RFK Jr. was gathering evidence of Mary's drug and alcohol abuse in an effort to win the children.
"Mary was terrified that Robert was going to take the kids from her," a source close the situation exclusively told RadarOnline.com.
"She was convinced he was building a case against her as an unfit mother and that he would be pursuing full custody."
In the wake of 52-year-old Mary hanging herself in the family barn, reports surfaced about her depression regarding the end of their marriage and immense financial woes — topped with her very public struggle with alcohol abuse.
"Not only would she lose her children she would also lose a huge chunk of money each month and her financial problems were deep enough as it was," the insider said.
"This really was her worst nightmare come true."
Robert and Mary had four children together under the age of 18 who spent the majority of their time with their mother in New York while Kennedy was out in California engaging in a relationship with actress Cheryl Hines.
"Those children were her life and she couldn't bear the thought of losing custody of them," she source concluded.