RFK Jr. said worm ate part of his brain, died inside his head: 2012 deposition

FILE - Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., testifies before a House Judiciary Select Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 20, 2023. Kennedy, an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist and scion of the storied Democratic dynasty, is expected to launch an independent or third-party presidential bid on Monday, Oct 9. Patrick Semansky / AP Photo

Over a decade ago, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. described in a deposition that a worm ate part of his brain and caused short-term memory loss.

The news was unearthed by the New York Times, which reported Wednesday how the 2024 independent presidential candidate revealed the information during his 2012 divorce deposition.

The Times said the record of his 2012 deposition showed Kennedy had initially feared he had a brain tumour. He said he’d begun to experience “cognitive problems” and memory loss in 2010, shortly after his uncle, Massachusetts senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy, died from brain cancer.

He consulted with several neurologists, some of whom had treated or consulted his late uncle on his health, and they concluded he had a tumour. He was scheduled for a brain operation by the same surgeon who operated on his uncle.

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However, he said he also sought a second opinion from a New York doctor, who told him that a dark spot that showed up on his brain scans was a dead parasite.

The abnormality seen on his scans “was caused by a worm that got into my brain and ate a portion of it and then died,” Kennedy, now 70, said in the deposition.

He also revealed that around the same time he learned of the parasite, he was also diagnosed with mercury poisoning, something he suspected was likely from eating too much fish.

“I have cognitive problems, clearly,” he said in the deposition, according to the New York Times. “I have short-term memory loss, and I have longer-term memory loss that affects me.”

At the time of the deposition, Kennedy was in the process of divorcing Mary Richardson, and made the argument that his earning power was being affected by his cognitive struggles, namely memory loss and brain fog.

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Kennedy volunteers canvass as the Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. attends a press conference in the Brooklyn borough of New York, on May 1, 2024. Kena Betancur / AFP via Getty Images

Other health issues he’s faced in over the years include atrial fibrillation, where the heart beats quickly and out of rhythm, as well as drug addiction. In the deposition he also revealed that doctors once had to shock his heart to return it to beating in sync.

This new revelation prompted Business Insider to reach out to Kennedy’s spokesperson, asking if the health issues could compromise his fit for presidency.

“The issue was resolved more than 10 years ago, and he is in robust physical and mental health. Questioning Mr. Kennedy’s health is a hilarious suggestion, given his competition,” Stefanie Spear said, alluding to recent discussions and debate around 81-year-old U.S. President Joe Biden and 77-year-old Republican candidate Donald Trump and their cognitive and physical abilities.

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In his presidential campaign materials, Kennedy has been known to contrast his health to that of Biden and Trump. He often boasts that he is the most physically and mentally fit of the three.

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