RFK’s 22-year-old granddaughter Saoirse Kennedy Hill died of an accidental drug overdose

Suzy Byrne
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Saoirse Kennedy Hill, the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, died of an accidental drug overdose.

Yahoo Entertainment confirmed with Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts on Friday that the investigation into the 22-year-old’s death concluded that she died from “acute methadone and ethanol toxicity in combination with other prescription medications.”

Saoirse Kennedy Hill died as a result of a drug overdose. (Screenshot: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. via Instagram)
Saoirse Kennedy Hill died as a result of a drug overdose. (Screenshot: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. via Instagram)

The overdose is considered “accidental.”

A spokesperson for the Town of Barnstable’s vital records department tells Yahoo Entertainment that methadone (which treats narcotic addiction or severe pain), fluoxetine (known as Prozac), norfluoxetine (an antidepressant), diazepam (Valium), nordiazepam (anxiety medication) and alcohol were in Kennedy Hill’s system.

Multiple Boston news outlets — including the Boston Globe, Boston Herald and WCVB 5 — obtained a copy of the toxicology testing, which found methadone (which treats narcotic addiction or severe pain), fluoxetine (known as Prozac), norfluoxetine (an antidepressant), diazepam (Valium), nordiazepam (anxiety medication) and alcohol in Kennedy Hill’s system.

The Kennedy family has not yet released an official statement; Yahoo Entertainment reached out to the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization and will update this story with any response.

Kennedy Hill, the only child of RFK’s daughter Courtney Kennedy Hill and her ex-husband Paul Michael Hill, was found dead in her grandmother Ethel’s home on the famed Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Mass., on Aug. 1.

Ethel, 91, said at the time of her granddaughter’s death that the world “became a little less beautiful.”

BARNSTABLE, MA - AUGUST 5: Courtney Kennedy Hill, center with head down, is consoled by Maria Shriver, right, and Sydney Lawford McKelvy, left, while she looks on as the casket of her daughter is taken from the church after funeral services for Saoirse Roisin Kennedy Hill are held at Our Lady of Victory Church in the Centerville section of Barnstable, MA on Aug. 5, 2019. Mourners gathered at Our Lady of Victory Church on Monday for the funeral of 22-year-old Saoirse Kennedy Hill, the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy who died last week. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Courtney Kennedy Hill, center with head down, is consoled by Maria Shriver, right, and Sydney Lawford McKelvy, at her daughter's funeral. (Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Kennedy Hill’s uncle, activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., shared his eulogy of the college student publicly after her memorial. It talked about how she suffered from depression — which she detailed in a 2016 op-ed for her high school student newspaper titled “Mental Illness at Deerfield” — and a time when he visited her in rehab for an undisclosed treatment.

RFK Jr. also detailed Kennedy Hill’s last night. He said she finished a 25-page paper for Boston College, which she had been working on for a week, and announced plans for an “all-night celebration.” After dinner and watching the Democratic presidential debate with her grandma Ethel, she and her friend, Sinead Donnelly, went to a karaoke bar followed by a drag bar.

“She came home at 2 a.m. and sang and danced with Sinead in the cottage,” he wrote. “They toured Hyannis Port in Grandma Ethel’s golf cart and swam at dawn before watching the sunrise from the beach. She went to bed looking forward to her trip to Los Angeles that day.”

While the “two friends went to bed in Douglas [Kennedy]’s room,” “Saoirse woke up with God” the next morning.

The death of Kennedy Hill churned up the long fabled “Kennedy curse” rumors. Within that, several family members have struggled with addiction issues, including RFK’s son David Kennedy, who died from an overdose in 1984. RFK Jr. has been candid about his drug dependency, writing about it American Values: Lessons I Learned from My Family, after being arrested for heroin possession in the ‘80s. And Christopher Lawford, who was a soap star, was a lecturer on drug addiction prior to his death last year.

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