A family statement did not refer to particular reports of the death of the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. but faulted what it called "inaccuracies and misrepresentations" of her life, CNN reported.
Mary Kennedy was found dead in Bedford, north of New York City, Wednesday. The Westchester County medical examiner said Thursday she died of asphyxiation due to hanging.
"While we would naturally prefer to remain private at this very upsetting time, we feel compelled to make this statement because the description of Mary carried by certain news organizations since her passing ... is wholly inconsistent with the sister we knew and the life she, in fact, lived," the family said in a statement Thursday.
"We loved Mary and knew her to be an exceptional mother, sibling and friend to many. 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. We know her as all those things, and more."
CNN noted several accounts of her death referred to her troubled marriage to the son of Robert F. Kennedy, the former U.S. senator who was assassinated in California in 1968.
Mary Kennedy's husband filed for divorce in May 2010 but the couple were still married at the time of her death, her family attorney, Kerry A. Lawrence, told CNN.