McLEAN (AP) One of Robert F. Kennedy’s children has won custody of a decorative planter that sat outside a Virginia estate called Hickory Hill where the branch of the famed American political family once lived.
The Washington Post reported on July 30 that a federal judge ruled a 2010 pact by the property’s new owner to give up the urn was binding.
The federal court decision means that Kerry Kennedy, a lawyer and activist who is the seventh child of RFK and Ethel Kennedy, gets back the 4-foot-tall (1.2-meter-tall) planter that she recalls from her childhood. When she was selling the estate, the late senator’s widow had told her children to choose one item from the property and Kerry Kennedy picked the urn.
Stemming from the 2009 sale of the estate, Kerry Kennedy last year sued the new owner in federal court for breach of contract. She and Hickory Hill owner Alan J. Dabbiere had an agreement that he would relinquish the urn after 10 years.
Dabbiere had said he’d been under the mistaken belief that Jackie Kennedy brought the urn to the property in the 1950s and changed his mind about giving up ownership after learning that it had actually been there long before the Kennedys arrived. He then claimed it was fixture of the property.
But the federal judge ruled in Kerry Kennedy’s favor, bringing the dispute to a close. Kennedy, once married to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, now plans to bring the urn to the family’s compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
Hickory Hill is a designated National Historic Landmark. It was built on about 5 acres (2 hectares) of land in 1870.