According to Mariel Hemingway, her family has a terrible curse. The granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway compares her family to the Kennedy's in a recent documentary which details her family's history. According to a report from CNN on Jan. 21, Hemingway, 51, says
"We were, sort of, the other American family that had this horrible curse. Knowing that there's so much suicide and so much mental illness in my family, I've always kind of been 'running from crazy,' worried that one day I'd wake up and be in the same position."
The documentary which is directed by Barbara Kopple explores her parents' problematic marriage and the troubled relationships she had with her siblings. It also contains footage showing her sister Margaux Hemingway who committed suicide in 1996.
The deaths of seven members of Hemingway's family were caused by suicide, including Ernest and Mariel Hemingway's older sister Margaux, she said. Previously, Mariel Hemingway denied her sister's death was a suicide until an event hosted by the American Association for the Prevention of Suicide in 2003.
Ernest Hemingway, winner of the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature, battled depression and killed himself in 1961, just before Mariel Hemingway was born. Suicide was not talked about among the family, Hemingway says. She states,
"Nobody spoke about anything. It was a different generation."
Hemingway is now an advocate for suicide and mental illness awareness. She also openly discusses mental health issues with her two daughters.
"I think people need to talk about it a lot. Making it OK that it's in your family. It doesn't shame anyone, and it doesn't make anybody's family an ugly, bad family."