Beloved comedian Robin Williams’ widow, Susan Williams, says she doesn’t blame him “one bit” for committing suicide — and that his final act was simply a way to wrest back control from a “sea monster” of a disease.
In her first interview since her husband’s Aug. 11, 2014 death, a tearful Susan opened about her husband’s demons on a “Good Morning America” interview airing Tuesday.
“I got to tell him, ‘I forgive you 50 billion percent, with all my heart. You’re the bravest man I’ve ever known,'” she recalled of the day Williams, 63, was found after hanging himself with a belt. “You know, we were living a nightmare.”
Susan compared the “Mrs. Doubtfire” actor’s “endless parade of symptoms” in the months leading up to his death to a game of Whac-A-Mole, admitting she thought he was a hypochondriac at first. He would’ve had “maybe three years” left if he was lucky, she said.
Coroners found that the Oscar-winning actor suffered from depression, Parkinson’s disease, paranoia and Lewy Body Dementia, a form of dementia that often leads to Parkinsonian motor symptoms, depression and hallucination.
But depression wasn’t the chief cause of his suicide, Susan said.
“Lewy Body Dementia killed Robin,” she said. “It’s what took his life.”
Williams’ wife of three years opened up about the debilitating effects of his complicated and difficult-to-diagnose illness, likening it to “a sea monster with 50 tentacles of symptoms that show when they want.”
“It’s chemical warfare in the brain, and we can’t find it till someone dies, definitively,” she said. “There’s no cure.”
In the time leading up to his death, Williams seemed to be “disintegrating” before Susan’s eyes and losing his mind, she said, and he was very much aware of it.
She recounted one case in which she found him in the bathroom nursing bloody gashes on his head. When she asked how he had hit his head, he replied, “I miscalculated” — a response she claims makes sense in the context of Lewy Body Dementia, which affects vision and spatial perception.
“And so now, over a year later … I get it, honey. I totally get it,” Susan said. “I don’t think he was trying to hit his head on the door. I know that’s right. And I know he was angry with himself and he was fed up with this and he was expressing anger.”
The widow does not “for one second” blame herself or have any regrets.
“No one could have done anything more for Robin. I just want everyone to know that,” she said. “Everyone did the very best they could.”
She later told People magazine that she hopes Williams’ diagnosis can raise awareness of the disease.
“This was a very unique case and I pray to God that it will shed some light on Lewy bodies for the millions of people and their loved ones who are suffering with it,” she told the magazine. “Because we didn’t know. He didn’t know.”
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