What Really Happened in Chappaquiddick? Movie Claims to Tell True Story of Deadly Kennedy Crash

Entertainment - Inside Edition Staff

The forthcoming film Chappaquiddick claims to tell the "untold, true story" of what happened when Senator Ted Kennedy crashed his car in July 1969, killing a campaign worker.

Kennedy, then 37, accidentally drove his car off a bride on Chappaquiddick Island, Mass., and into the water below. He managed to escape but 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne was trapped inside the vehicle and drowned.

The trailer for the film about the incident was released last week and actor Jason Clarke, who plays Kennedy, is seen wearing a neck brace like the one the senator wore following the accident.

Kate Mara plays the victim in the film, which is slated to arrive in April.

"The diver who went down said that an air bubble had been formed when the car rolled over and sank into the bottom and she might have survived in that air bubble," Burton Hersh, author of Edward Kennedy: An Intimate Biography, told Inside Edition. 

Ted Kennedy did not notify authorities until some ten hours after the accident. He later went on TV to explain what happened, claiming he had made “repeated efforts” to save Kopechne by diving into the strong currents. 

He pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of the crash causing personal injury and received a two-month suspended jail sentence.

But he redeemed his public persona and political career. He was known as “the lion of the senate” until his death in 2009. 

The movie is directed by John Curran and stars Olivia Thirlby, Ed Helms, Jim Gaffigan, and Bruce Dern. 

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