Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mary Kennedy in Dec. 2010
05/17/2012 at 09:30 PM EDT
Mary Kennedy, who committed suicide
by hanging herself, had battled depression for years, her estranged husband Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says.
"A lot of times, I don’t know how she made it through the day," Robert tells The New York Times
. "She was in a lot of agony for a lot of her life."
He adds: "I don’t think anybody who was around her didn't do everything that they could to try to help her."
Robert, the son of former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, filed for divorce from Mary in May 2010 after 16 years of marriage. They had four children together.
The body of Mary, 52, was discovered Wednesday
in the garage of her home in Mount Kisco, N.Y., according to reports.
Mary's family, meanwhile, issued a statement blasting "certain news organizations" for portraying her in a way that is "wholly inconsistent with the sister we knew and life she, in fact, lived."
"We loved Mary and knew her to be an exceptional mother, sibling and friend to many," says the statement. "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."
A private memorial service was set for New York City.