AceShowbiz - Six years after Robin Williams' death, his widow Susan Schneider Williams wants to set things straight about what drove him to take his own life. The comedian committed suicide by hanging at age 63 in August 2014, leading many to speculate that his old addictions and depression had caught up with him.
Speaking to The Guardian, Susan admits she was enraged by false reporting that claimed her late husband had been drinking leading up to his death. "It infuriated me when the media said he'd been drinking, because I know there are recovering addicts out there who looked up to him, people dealing with depression who looked up to him, and they deserve to know the truth," she tells the publication.
Autopsy result revealed that Robin had Lewy Body Dementia, which had not been diagnosed before his passing. People with LBD tend to experience, among other things, anxiety, memory loss, hallucinations and insomnia, and these symptoms are generally accompanied or followed by Parkinson's symptoms.
"The doctors said to me after the autopsy: 'Are you surprised that your husband had Lewy bodies throughout his entire brain and brain stem?' I didn't even know what Lewy bodies were, but I said: 'No, I'm not surprised,' " Susan recalls her reaction when she first found about her husband's unknown struggle with the disease. "The fact that something had infiltrated every part of my husband's brain? That made perfect sense."
Susan says the speculation that Robin had been suffering from depression, alcoholism, or both leading up to his death shows "how we as a culture don't have the vocabulary to discuss brain disease in the way we do about depression. Depression is a symptom of LBD and it's not about psychology - it's rooted in neurology. His brain was falling apart."
That's why Susan was determined to make public more enlightened about Robin's health issue and Lewy Body Dementia through documentary "Robin's Wish", which was released back on September 1, 2020. "If my husband weren't famous I would not have put myself through this. But there were so many misunderstandings out there about what had happened to him, and about Lewy bodies," she explains her intention with the project. "So this felt like the right thing to do."