New York Post - PAGE SIX

with Jeane MacIntosh


KENNEDY cousin Michael Skakel says he wanted to put the moves on Martha Moxley just hours before the pretty teenager was bludgeoned to death with a 6-iron from a set of Skakel family golf clubs.

"I really liked her, I wanted to kiss her," Skakel says of his next-door neighbor in an explosive book proposal, "Dead Man Talking: A Kennedy Cousin Comes Clean." "I wanted her to be my girlfriend, but I was going slow, being careful."

The 38-page draft, obtained by Boston Herald scribe Maggie Mulvihill, reveals new details of what Skakel, now 39, did on Oct. 30, 1975 - the night 15-year-old Moxley's bloody corpse was found on her lawn.

Connecticut officials say Skakel and his older brother, Thomas, are the two main suspects in the still-unsolved killing. Both steadfastedly maintain they're innocent. Still, a Connecticut grand jury recently re-opened the gruesome case, and has reviewed nine hours of taped conversations between Skakel and co-author Richard Hoffman.

And Skakel's furious lawyer has ordered his client to kill the book project, claiming Hoffman put words in Skakel's mouth.

"I don't believe those were [Skakel's] thoughts or his words," says lawyer Michael Sherman. "They are the spin and the story created by an author whose primary interest" is selling a book.

In the draft, Skakel says he spent the evening of the murder drinking with his siblings and live-in tutor Kenneth Littleton at a club near their Greenwich home. The party moved to the Skakel kitchen, and grew to include Moxley and others.

Michael says he recalls telling Littleton, "I thought Martha was really pretty," before asking her to share a cigarette in his father's Lincoln - nicknamed "the lust-mobile." According to the draft, Moxley refused to stay out partying with Skakel past her 9 p.m. curfew.

After Moxley left, the draft claims, Skakel drove to his cousins' house, where he drank, smoked pot and watched TV before going home. Then, "keyed up, nervous and horny," Skakel says, he went back out.

When cops questioned Skakel shortly after Moxley's body was found, he first said he'd stayed at home. He later changed his alibi to say he'd gone out and thrown pebbles at Martha's window.

Co-author Hoffman contends there's "nothing that is incriminating" in the book, and told the Herald, "If I thought Michael was a murderer, I wouldn't do a book with him. I absolutely believe his innocence."