Mary Kennedy's Family Clears Her Image

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Mary Richardson Kennedy's family has released a statement in an effort to paint a more whole and accurate depiction of Mary for a public whose perception of her might be skewed in light of her apparent suicide.

RELATED: Coroner: Mary Kennedy Hanged Herself

The family tells ET, "While we would naturally prefer to remain private at this very upsetting time, we feel compelled to make this statement because the description of Mary carried by certain news organizations since her passing yesterday is wholly inconsistent with the sister we knew and the life she, in fact, lived. We loved Mary and knew her to be an exceptional mother, sibling and friend to many. Countless people have described her as an extraordinary mother, selfless in her desire to help others, and one of the finest people in the world. We know her as all those things, and more. She was generous, thoughtful, with a refined aesthetic, genius organizational abilities, boundless energy, physical stamina, and natural elegance. She laughed a lot. Her enthusiasms were deep. She loved to connect people, with no self-interest, and with great intelligence.

"We would ask the media to give us a few days to begin processing Mary's tragic death, and to fully understand all the circumstances around it. The first task is for Mary's family to take her to her final resting place, with the dignity and love she deserves. There will be plenty of time to correct all the inaccuracies and misrepresentations we are seeing in the media. Thank you for your understanding.

"A private memorial service for our beloved sister will be held in Manhattan."

ABC News reports that Mary, the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., was found dead Wednesday afternoon, hanging in a garage on the property of her Bedford, New York home. She was 52.