Florida v. William Kennedy Smith
The Boston Globe, July 24, 1991
 

By Larry Tye and Irene Sege

On first appearance, William Kennedy Smith is a disarmingly charming young man, but alone with a woman, he can become "animal-like," "violent" and a "sicko," according to statements made public yesterday from three women who say Smith assaulted them in recent years....

EXCERPTS FROM THE STATEMENTS

The following are excerpts from the statements made by the three women who, according to prosecutors, were sexually attacked by William Kennedy Smith before the Palm Beach case. The boldface text is a Globe summary of the transcript.

FIRST STATEMENT

From a woman who says she was attacked in 1983 at the home of Smith's parents in New York City:

After a party, Smith offers to let the woman stay in the guest room of his parents' home, which is nearby. She says he directed her to the guest room.

"One moment he was standing in front of me, talking with me, saying good-night and the next minute he ... tackled me onto the bed ... that I was standing next to and was trying to kiss me, and had his body completely cover mine, and had me pinned on the bed, and from there ... he continued to try to kiss me and put his hands on me....

"I was resisting it every moment. I was not in any way relaxed. My ... entire body was focused on getting him off of me, which must have made it kind of difficult for him to continue. It was a constant struggle." ...

Smith then apologizes, she says.

"For a moment I actually thought he means it, and it was just a mistake somehow and it'll be OK. But that was just for a brief moment because he immediately did the same thing again. Almost as if it was a repeat performance." ...

The woman is asked if she recalled him saying anything at that point.

"Just to be quiet. To shut up. But that's the only thing I remember.

"I also remember being really scared and thinking this is really a messed-up situation, and this is really a nightmare and I want to get out of here." ...

The next day she called Max Kennedy, Smith's cousin, who was then her boyfriend.

"I called Max the next day and I said your cousin Willie attacked me, I met your cousin Willie last night and he attacked me and he's a sicko and called him some names and, you know, expected some sympathy and some reaction, I don't know exactly what." ...

The woman later broke up with Max Kennedy, but when she heard of the Palm Beach incident, she said they spoke by telephone.

"He said, 'It sounds like Willie really has a problem,' and he apologized again to me.

"He did say that it ... it had been hard for him because, you know, people [slight pause] it was hard for his family at that particular moment because people were perceiving them as 'you sick rapists,' and that it was a ... it was a tough time for his family."...

The woman said she had been reluctant to go to police at the time.

"I frankly thought that nobody would think it was too much of a big deal because I hadn't been actually raped and because I ... Max was minimizing it. I started to do the same.

"I also thought that nobody would believe me, being, you know, considering who ... who the people were involved." ...

Why has she come forward now?

"Well, it's just been really on my mind and, it's got a lot to ... it's complicated, I ... it has to do with the fact that I didn't do anything at the time when I was assaulted and I ... that makes me feel kind of powerless and I wish that I could have done something and this is something that possibly will be an action that ... that will have some ... some impact on this case in Florida.

"I mean it's my obligation to support her by you know, doing what I can to ...."

SECOND STATEMENT

From a woman who says she was sexually attacked by Smith in 1988 at his Washington apartment:

"I went over to get my purse. He handed me the drink that we had been drinking. I put it back down. We were on the back side of the couch. At that point without any warning he grabbed me by my wrists ... threw me over the couch, and I landed on the floor on my back pinned to the floor by the wrist with him on top of me.

"I felt like if I struggled he probably wouldn't have let me up ... whereas if I treated him like a normal person that didn't have any ... any violent tendencies that he might indeed act like a normal person and let me up.

"I was frightened. I thought that if I didn't somehow talk this fellow out of it that I was going to be raped." ...

She did not report the incident to police.

"Because I know how powerful his family is and he does seem to be such an upstanding medical student." ...

Why come forward now?

"Several reasons, one being that I saw him in the media from what I felt was sources being portrayed as such a wonderful gentlemanly scholarly dedicated, you know, physician and I just didn't feel that was true."

THIRD STATEMENT

From a woman who says Smith raped her in 1988, at his apartment in Washington, after the two had been at a party together:

"It was one of those parties that just the whole house got kind of trashed from all the people ... there were so many people in the house ... there was beer on the floor ... that kind of thing ... and then I don't know ... I got pretty drunk.

"I just thought he was going to be a gentleman and let me sleep in his bed ... I mean that's really what I thought and I didn't even think anything ... I mean it's a king-size bed ... it was a huge bed so I wouldn't of even of thought anything of it if he had slept next to me you know.

"I was about to lie down and ... and he like took off my shorts and I thought he was ... I still thought ... I mean at that point I began to get a little scared but I kind of said you know stop it ... I just want to go to sleep ... leave me alone and I don't know, he started getting just more and more aggressive and ... and ... I didn't know what to do.

"I began to realize he wasn't going to take no for an answer.

"I can't even describe the fear I mean it was ... it was like ... I felt so out of control.

"I realized I ... I can't ... I have to go along with this ... I can't fight at this point ... that this ... he's going to hurt me and I could see it in his face ... he was such a ... ferocious ... almost animal-like kind of look to him ... it was just horrible.

"He said stop fighting or stop it ... you know ... that kind of thing.

"I sort of passed out at some point in the middle of it ... I ... I just don't even remember.

"When he took off his clothes, he reached over to the dresser and pulled out a condom." ...

After charges that Smith raped a Florida woman became public this year, Smith ...

"Did try to call me through friends....

"I just didn't want to talk to him ... I think I would have gotten sick if I had spoken with him."

Did other Kennedy family members or friends try to contact her?

"No. Unless his lawyer counts."...

Why didn't she press charges in 1988?

"I had been advised by a lawyer at the time not to press charges, not to do anything and ... and the Kennedys you know, you'll never win."...

She came forward now, she said, because ...

"If he wins or loses, that message is going to go across to college campuses and to other people and if ... if he gets away with it ... then the message is going to be clear that this is OK."

 


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