‘Chappaquiddick’ Producer: Viewers Will See What Ted Kennedy ‘Had To Go Through’

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Hollywood producer Mark Ciardi says the new Ted Kennedy biopic movie Chappaquiddick, about the drowning incident that left a young woman dead, gives viewers a chance to see what Kennedy "had to go through" at that time, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

"I’ve done a lot of true life stories, many sports stories, but this one had a deep impact on this country," Ciardi said. "Everyone has an idea of what happened on Chappaquiddick and this strings together the events in a compelling and emotional way. You’ll see what he had to go through."

Kennedy was a young U.S. senator at the time, and he accidentally drove his car off a bridge late on July 18, 1969, into a tidal channel while taking political staffer Mary Jo Kopechne home from a party.

Kennedy swam to safety, and he said later that he made repeated efforts to rescue Kopechne, but she died in the car, possibly of suffocation. Kennedy did not report the accident to authorities until the following morning, when the car and Kopechne's body were discovered.

Kennedy himself called these actions "indefensible." However, he merely pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and received a suspended sentence.

The Hollywood Reporter uses passive voice to describe the incident, saying Kennedy "becomes entangled in a tragic car accident:"

"I’ve done a lot of true life stories, many sports stories, but this one had a deep impact on this country," said Ciardi. "Everyone has an idea of what happened on Chappaquiddick and this strings together the events in a compelling and emotional way. You’ll see what he had to go through."

Written by Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan, Chappaquiddick is political thriller that unveils the true story of what is described as the seven most dramatic days of Senator Ted Kennedy's life.

On the eve of the moon landing, Senator Kennedy becomes entangled in a tragic car accident that results in the death of former Robert Kennedy campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne. The Senator struggles to follow his own moral compass and simultaneously protect his family's legacy, all while simply trying to keep his own political ambitions alive.

Politically, the incident damaged Kennedy's reputation. While he received no jail time for Kopechne's death, it was widely seen as hurting his presidential ambitions, and he never received the Democratic nomination for the White House. He remained in the U.S. Senate, however, until his death in 2009.