2004-07-22 14:44:00 UTC
By CAROLINE PHILLIPS, Ottawa Sun
THE EX-WIFE of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau has been charged
with drunk driving. Margaret Kemper, 55, was not present, nor was she
required to be, when her case was in Ottawa court for the first time
Ottawa police spokesman Staff Sgt. Mike Laviolette said Kemper was
charged after a vehicle heading north on the Vanier Pkwy. at McArthur
Ave. was pulled over for a routine traffic stop at about 10:30 p.m. on
The officer detected an odour of alcohol from the female driver, who
subsequently failed a roadside screening, said Laviolette. The driver
was taken to the police station for a breathalyzer test which she also
failed, said Laviolette.
The driver was charged with one count of impaired driving and one count
of driving with more than the legal amount of alcohol in her system, and
"It was very straightforward," said Laviolette. "There was nothing out
of the ordinary. She was very co-operative."
Kemper, who lives in the tony New Edinburgh neighbourhood, has been
described as "one of the most controversial, criticized and
misunderstood Canadians of her time," and has a history that includes
being married to a prime minister and partying with the Rolling Stones.
Her battle with mental illness has also been widely publicized over the
years. She suffered from bouts of depression during her marriage to
Trudeau, which lasted from 1971 until 1984.
The couple had three sons, the youngest of whom -- Michel -- was killed
after an avalanche swept him to the bottom of British Columbia's Kokanee
Lake in November 1998.
That tragedy was followed by the death of Pierre Trudeau in September
2000 at age 80.
Kemper's second marriage, to Ottawa real-estate developer Fried Kemper,
also ended in divorce.