The mother and a brother of William Kennedy Smith blasted a People magazine cover story profiling the Kennedy clan.
In letters to the editor in the issue that went on sale Monday, Jean Kennedy Smith wrote she was "shocked and horrified" by the portrayal of her late husband, Stephen Smith, their marriage and her alleged role as an abused wife."This is demeaning not only to me but to my children - and to my entire family, all of whom had the greatest respect and admiration for my husband," Jean Kennedy Smith wrote.
The magazine in its May 27 issue had said Jean Kennedy Smith stayed home while her late husband, who died last summer after suffering from lung cancer, ran around with other women and treated "like dirt" the sister of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
The magazine also said Jean Kennedy Smith eventually had her own short-lived extramarital affair.
The article further said the Smith children "were often left to themselves, ensconced in elite prep schools during the year, scattering to the various Kennedy homes during the holidays."
William Kennedy Smith, 30, is charged in the rape of a Jupiter, Fla., woman at the Kennedys' Palm Beach estate on Easter weekend.
His brother, Stephen Smith Jr., criticized the profile as "profoundly upsetting" to his recently widowed mother, and "contrary to my personal experience."
Smith wrote he lived at home in New York until he was 18 and "had dinner with my sisters and my parents virtually every night . . . Vacations and summers have always been spent together."
Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., the Kennedy family chronicler, also described the profile as false and "fantasy."
"The Smith family is a cohesive and devoted family, and Steve and Jean Smith had a lively and joyous marraige, mutually loving and mutually reinforcing," Schlesinger said.