Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. generated outrage last week by conspiratorially suggesting that COVID-19 may have been “ethnically targeted” to “attack Caucasians and Black people” while disproportionately sparing Chinese people and Ashkenazi Jews. But his celebrity wife, Emmy-nominated actress Cheryl Hines, doesn’t want to talk about that.

The Curb Your Enthusiasm star has taken a monastic vow of silence in regard to her husband’s combustible claims, even as his own family members rebuke him. As her spokeswoman explained to The Daily Beast, Hines is simply receiving too many “daily requests” to weigh in. (Kennedy later insisted that his comments about the coronavirus—which were captured on video—were taken out of context.)

Instead, the spokeswoman directed The Daily Beast to a profile of Hines that appeared in The New York Times style section last month. The article was intermittently flattering and skeptical; on more than one occasion, the author called Hines’ answers vague or difficult to parse, including in response to some questions about her views on vaccines. (Asked how she and her husband diverge politically, Hines paused for 49 seconds but did not come up with “a clear answer,” the paper reported.)

“I support Bobby and I want to be there for him, and I want him to feel loved and supported by me,” she told the outlet, which noted that she is registered as a Democrat. “And at the same time, I don’t feel the need to go to every political event, because I do have my own career.”

In recent years, Kennedy has made numerous dubious assertions, often with flowery and seemingly scientific rhetoric. He has argued that “chemical exposures” are causing children to become transgender (he used the phrase “sexual dysphoria”); that wifi is a serious health hazard (there is not clear proof of this); and that HIV may not be the “sole cause” of AIDS.

Hines has disavowed her husband at least once before. In January 2022, he likened COVID-19 restrictions to Nazi Germany, in fact suggesting that life under the fascist regime was in some ways less oppressive. “Even in Hitler’s Germany, you could cross the Alps to Switzerland. You could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did,” he said. Hines wrote on Twitter that Kennedy Jr.’s views were “not a reflection of my own,” adding, “While we love each other, we differ on many current issues.”

She expanded on those comments to the Times, calling it “frustrating to hear Bobby say things that could so easily be twisted into snippets that misrepresented his meaning and didn’t represent who he is.”

Kennedy and Hines first met 17 years ago through Curb creator Larry David, a reported pal of Kennedy’s. They started dating in 2011, amid his bitter divorce battle with his second wife, Mary. (David told the Times that he offered his “love and support” to Kennedy but was not actually “supporting” his candidacy.)

Cheryl Hines and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. during ceremonies honoring Hines with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood in 2014.

Fred Prouser/Reuters

Despite Kennedy’s controversial public persona, Hines finds him clever and charming, she said. “Bobby is very smart and funny, although a lot of people don’t see the funny side….He also has this sense of adventure that will catapult me outside of my comfort zone, which I find exciting most of the time.”

And Hines seems to share some of his opinions—or at least she endorses his impulse to “ask questions” (at times to the dismay of public health experts). “I see both sides of the vaccine situation…. There’s one side that feels scared if they don’t get the vaccine, and there’s the side that feels scared if they do get the vaccine, because they’re not sure if the vaccine is safe. And I understand that,” she said.

“If Bobby is standing up and saying, ‘Well, are we sure that they’re safe and every vaccine has been tested properly?’” she argued, “that seems like the right question to be asking.”

Kennedy told the Times that his wife will prove invaluable to his presidential ambitions, calling her “mesmerizing when she’s on TV.”

“I think ultimately if I get elected, Cheryl will have played a huge role in that,” he said.

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