By Judy Kurtz - 03/14/12 12:00 AM EDT
Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy knows how to woo a woman with a single pickup line.
The Rhode Island Democrat and longtime bachelor, who’s the son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), ended up marrying the gal he met at a fundraiser to whom he uttered these words: “Please call me. But pretend I called you first.”
Kennedy, 42, and schoolteacher Amy Petitgout tied the knot a little more than a year after that initial 2010 encounter.
Kennedy and Petitgout are shacking up with her parents in Abescon, N.J., while the couple’s $1.1 million abode is being built. They’re expecting their first child next month. And apparently this former lawmaker doesn’t come equipped with a clean gene. His mother-in-law, Leni Savell, tells the mag that she pleads with him to clean up, but “he just grabs a bunch of stuff, takes it up to the attic, and drops it there.”
But Kennedy, who has publicly battled bipolar disorder along with drug and alcohol addiction, prefers his new setup to a life on Capitol Hill, saying, “I just never kind of felt like I had enough of a safe harbor emotionally to protect myself. I didn’t know where I was going home to. And now I do.”
While he’s still advocating for research and treatment for mental illness and brain injuries as a paid lecturer, the member of one of America’s most famous political families says he has no desire ever to return to elected office.
He says he realized something shortly before his father died of brain cancer in 2009: “At the end of my dad’s life, it wasn’t his legacy or the laws he passed that kept him company when he was sitting at the end of the porch, looking out over the ocean. It was his kids. And that was seared into me.”