- Richard Kasich, who suffers from bipolar disorder, has opened up about his relationship with older brother John
- Said the pair didn’t speak for 19 years after a row over their inheritance
- Parents died after being hit by drunk driver in 1987 and passed control of their estate to John, fearing Richard could not handle the responsibility
- John then sold family home, leaving Richard furious, so he sued his older brother for his share and pair stopped talking
- They reconciled in 2006 but are still not close with each other, Richard said
On the campaign trail he is known as the nice-guy candidate, but it seems that John Kasich’s family history is not so rose-tinted.
Despite often mentioning brother Richard’s struggles with depression during stump speeches, it has been revealed that the Ohio governor didn’t speak to his younger sibling for almost two decades.
According to Richard, who spoke to the New York Times, John vowed to having ‘nothing to do with me’ amid a bitter row over their inheritance after their parents died in a car crash.
John Sr and his wife Anne were killed in 1987, both aged 67, as they pulled out of a Burger King in their hometown of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, when their car was hit by a drunk driver.
Richard says that in their will the pair left primary control of their estate to John, fearing that he was not mentally capable enough following his diagnosis with bipolar disorder, then known as manic depression.
The split between the pair came after John decided to sell the house they had grown up in, despite Richard saying he wanted to live there.
He and wife Andrea hired a lawyer and eventually sued to get control of his share of the inheritance, despite threats from his older brother.
Richard said: ‘My brother told me, “If you sue me, I won’t have anything to do with you.”‘
The pair did not speak for the next 19 years while John pursued his career in politics, including a run for president in 1999.
It was not until Andrea died in 2006 that Richard says his lawyer advised him to get back in touch with his brother, and the pair reconciled.
But while they now speak with each other, the relationship is often testy, and they have never been close in recent years.
Summing up his current relationship with his brother, Richard said: ‘He doesn’t have much to do with me, and I don’t have much to say about him.’
In response to the interview, Kasich’s election team put out a statement on behalf of the governor and his relatives.
It says: ‘We love Rick deeply and have shared the struggles that his disease brings with it.
‘As families with a loved one living with mental illness know, you take it one day at a time, and some days are better than others.
‘In the process, we have all become sensitive to and supportive of the needs of those living with this disease. Among the ways we support him is by working hard to protect his privacy, and we hope others respect that also.’