Ted called his behavior "inexcusable" after the Chappaquiddick crash that killed Mary Jo Kopechne, saying he was "dazed, afraid and panicked," following the accident, reports the Times. The senator left the scene and didn't report the accident until the next day, and admits that he "made terrible decisions," and that he was not romantically involved with Kopechne.
The book apparently does not avoid the controversial aspects of the senator's life -- including the 1991 drinking scandal with his nephew in Palm Beach, or years of carousing following his divorce from Joan in 1982. Ted even addresses how the tabloids covered his life, describing some accounts "totally false, bizarre and evil theories."
The publishers were unhappy with the leak and released a statement. "We regret that the New York Times did not respect the September 14th release date of 'True Compass,' which was carefully coordinated with the senator's family," said Cary Goldstein, a spokesman for Twelve. "That copy was obtained without consent or permission from Twelve -- or if it was somehow purchased, then it was sold illegally."
Publication of the book (by the Twelve division of Hachette Book Group) was moved up because of the senator's illness. It was written with Ron Powers and is based on the senator's own notes and an oral history he recorded for the University of Virginia.