Robin Williams’ Wife Reveals He Was Dealing With Parkinson’s Diagnosis When He Took His Life

August 15, 2014  |  

Since the news of Robin Williams’ death came out on Monday, a lot of people have had a lot to say about the comedian and how his body of work has impacted them in one way or another. But one person who has decided to speak out who knew Williams best is his third wife, Susan Schneider. If you’ll recall, she put out a statement right after his death was confirmed and said this:

“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one if its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope that the focus will not be on Robin’s death but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

But she has also decided to issue a statement giving some insight into what Williams was going through in his last days (she clarified that he was still sober, as Williams battled with drug addiction and alcoholism in the past) and to speak about the man she loved.

Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.

Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.

Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.

It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.

Parkinson’s Disease, which reportedly affects 10 million people, is a disorder that impacts the nervous system and affects your movements, your speech and your facial expressions, and the symptoms get worse as time goes on. Actor Michael J. Fox lives with the disease, and issued a statement on Twitter after hearing of Williams’ diagnosis yesterday:

“Stunned to learn Robin had PD. Pretty sure his support for our Fdn predated his diagnosis. A true friend; I wish him peace.”

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