In the days since Robin Williams was found dead, there’s been a lot of speculation about what may have driven the beloved actor/comedian to take his own life, but friends of the Williams family (as well as Williams’ own daughter Zelda) have asked for privacy and respect, as all concerned deal with the aftermath of a terrible loss. Today, Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider, released a statement thanking fans for their support, and revealed that in addition to his ongoing battles with depression and addiction (the latter of which she insists was under control when he died), Williams had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Schneider goes on to write that she hopes Williams’ struggles will prompt others to seek help.
Here’s the statement in full:
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.