War correspondent Michael Hastings has died in a car crash in Los Angeles at the age 33, his employer, news website BuzzFeed, has confirmed.
The journalist’s vehicle hit a tree and caught fire on Tuesday morning, US media report.
Michael Hastings was best known for his award-winning profile in Rolling Stone magazine of ex-US Afghanistan commander General Stanley McChrystal.
General Stanley McChrystal was dismissed after he openly criticized President Barack Obama in the story.
The military leader later quipped about the incident, telling military staff during his Pentagon farewell address: “I have stories on all of you, photos of many, and I know a Rolling Stone reporter.”
The accident which killed Michael Hastings is thought to have occurred on Highland Avenue in the Hancock Park neighborhood.
War correspondent Michael Hastings has died in a car crash in Los Angeles at the age 33
Authorities confirmed a man had been killed in a car crash there on Tuesday morning, but would not confirm his identity.
BuzzFeed‘s editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, said he had learnt the news from a family member.
“We are shocked and devastated by the news that Michael Hastings is gone,” Ben Smith said.
“Michael was a great, fearless journalist with an incredible instinct for the story, and a gift for finding ways to make his readers care about anything he covered from wars to politicians.”
At the time of his death, Michael Hastings was also still a contributing editor at Rolling Stone.
“I’m sad that I’ll never get to publish all the great stories that he was going to write, and sad that he won’t be stopping by my office for any more short visits which would stretch for two or three completely engrossing hours,” the magazine’s managing editor Will Dana said.
Michael Hastings began his career at Newsweek magazine in 2002, and was named the publication’s Baghdad correspondent in 2005.
Michael Hastings’ work has also appeared in The Washington Post, the LA Times and numerous publications.
Newsweek, the 80-year-old US current affairs magazine, is to become an online-only publication.
The last print edition will be on 31 December, reflecting the trend for newspapers and magazines to move online as traditional advertising declines.
Newsweek merged with the internet news group the Daily Beast two years ago.
The Daily Beast’s founder, Tina Brown, said its site now had more than 15 million unique visitors a month, a 70% increase on last year.
Tina Brown said in a statement: “Exiting print is an extremely difficult moment for all of us who love the romance of print and the unique weekly camaraderie of those hectic hours before the close on Friday night.
“But as we head for the 80th anniversary of Newsweek next year, we must sustain the journalism that gives the magazine its purpose – and embrace the all-digital future.
“This decision is now about the quality of the brand or the journalism – that is as powerful as ever. It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution.”
Newsweek is to become an online-only publication
Newsweek rose to become the second largest US news weekly magazine, behind Time. But declining circulation and advertising saw it fall into losses.
It was sold by the Washington Post Company to Sidney Harman in August 2010, and was merged with the Daily Beast three months later.
Tina Brown, who became Lady Evans when her husband Harold Evans, the legendary journalist, was knighted, is a former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.
She teamed up with Barry Diller to launch The Daily Beast in 2008. The website’s name comes from the fictional newspaper in Evelyn Waugh’s 1938 novel Scoop.
In a newly revealed legal filing that asked a court to prohibit Mary Kennedy from threatening suicide in front of their children Robert Kennedy claimed that his estranged wife abused his children from an earlier marriage and violently attacked him on numerous occasions.
Portions of the 60-page confidential divorce affidavit filed in 2011, which includes shocking claims that Mary Kennedy was physically abusive towards Robert and – on one occasion – his daughter, were disclosed in Newsweek magazine’s cover story about her troubled life.
Struggling with debt, depression and drinking heavily, Mary Kennedy searched on the Internet for how to make a noose and asked her housekeeper’s husband to buy some rope, saying it was for a sofa she was making.
Mary Kennedy committed suicide last month at the family’s estate in Bedford, New York, two years after Robert filed for divorce.
Sworn on September 16 2011, Robert Kennedy’s affidavit paints a desperately sad picture of a woman who, experts told Newsweek‘s Laurence Leamer, was suffering from a psychiatric disorder – Borderline Personality Disorder.
The couple, who had four children together, married in April 1994 when Mary was six-months pregnant.
And, according to the affidavit, Mary Kennedy became violent towards Robert shortly before they were married.
“Soon after Mary became pregnant with our first son, Mary, in a sudden rage about my continued friendship with [my ex-wife] Emily, hit me in the face with her fist,” Robert Kennedy said in the documents.
“She was a trained boxer and I got a shiner. Her engagement ring crushed my tear duct causing permanent damage … Mary asked me to lie to her family about the cause of my shiner.”
Robert Kennedy alleges in the affidavit that Mary’s physical abuse frequently reduced him to tears.
Years after that first alleged attack, in May 2011, shortly after the couple separated, Mary Kennedy ran over the family dog Portia, the affidavit claims.
With their children devastated, Mary Kennedy persuaded Robert to come and stay the night to console them – promising that if he visited she would not harass him.
Robert Kennedy duly went over to the estate where a drunken Mary launched a vicious attack on him.
“She […] hit me with a roundhouse punch that, had I not blocked it, would have undoubtedly broken my face. Pointing to Aidan [their youngest son], she screamed, <<You told this child you didn’t love me?>> and hit me again, raining blows down on me as I backed down the hall.
“She struck me maybe 30 times or more,” he alleged in the documents.
Portions of the 60-page confidential divorce affidavit filed in 2011, which includes shocking claims that Mary Kennedy was physically abusive towards Robert, were disclosed in Newsweek magazine’s cover story
In this particular incident, Mary Kennedy allegedly yelled at a crying Aiden that his father was “the most evil kind of man in the world”. Robert Kennedy escaped her continued raining blows by ducking out the kitchen door.
The couple’s housekeeper, who worked for the Kennedys throughout their marriage and was with Robert when he found Mary’s body, remembers an incident where Mary allegedly attacked her husband with a pair of scissors while he was in the bath.
As the couple’s marriage fell apart, their finances dwindled with legal bills soaring to over $1 million, on top of the monthly $40,000 cost to maintain the staffed estate.
Their famously tumultuous relationship began in 1993 while Robert Kennedy’s marriage to Emily was coming to an end after 10 years and having two children, Bobby III and Kathleen “Kick”, together.
Both regulars at AA, Robert and Mary Kennedy each suffered from addictive personalities, the Newsweek article highlighted.
Robert Kennedy had infamously battled a drug addiction while Mary had suffered from anorexia since she attended Putney School in Vermont, where she shared a room with Robert’s younger sister, Kerry.
But, according to Chris Bartle, a godfather to the couple’s youngest son, the couple could not resist one another.
“They couldn’t take their eyes off each other, couldn’t keep their hands off each other. She was glowing and he was repeatedly saying how much he loved her and how glad he was they had gotten together,” Chris Bartle told Newsweek.
However, the marriage soon ran into trouble, according to the affidavit, with the first major incident involving Mary Kenendy’s treatment of Kick, Robert’s daughter from his first marriage.
Visiting her father three weekends a month Kick seemed to lose something at the end of each stay, once it was a plane ticket another time her wallet disappeared.
After being chided by her father, Kick confided to him that she thought Mary Kennedy was stealing from her.
Robert Kennedy immediately dismissed the suggestion.
“She looked me in the eye and said, <<No, Daddy, Mary hates me.>>
“A few weeks later, looking for something in Mary’s bureau, I found a collection of Kick’s lost items concealed beneath a layer of Mary’s clothing,” Robert Kennedy recalls in the documents.
According to the affidavit, it was the first time that Robert Kennedy considered divorce although, on the surface at least, he brushed the incident aside.
Five years later, the affidavit states, Robert Kennedy “learned from Kick and many others who had witnessed Mary’s conduct, the heartbreaking story of Mary’s long campaign of cruelty and abuse directed toward Kick”.
Kick said that her step-mother would take her into a closed room where she would berate her for her apparent faults, Robert Kennedy alleges.
On one occasion Mary slapped Kick for arguing with one of the other children, the affidavit says.
Remaining stoically composed after the deaths of his brothers, Michael and David, Robert Kennedy broke down crying when he discovered Mary’s body hanging from the rafters in a barn at her estate on May 16.
Before Mary Kennedy’s death, he had taken to appearing at public events with their four children, who he had full temporary custody of, and his new girlfriend, 46-year-old actress Cheryl Hines.
Documents showed Mary Kennedy was facing a $32,000 lawsuit from American Express, though this was dropped following her death.
Speaking after Mary Kennedy’s funeral, her old school friend Kerry Kennedy said that Mary had suffered from mental illness the entire 37 years they had known one another.
“She struggled so hard, for so long, with mental illness, which so many Americans suffer with,” Kerry Kennedy said after her death.
“She fought with dignity, and in the end, the demons won.”
The domestic turmoil extended into preparations for her funeral. One of Mary Kennedy’s brothers went to court in an attempt to get custody of her body, while the Kennedys planned to bury her near the family’s seaside compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts.