Richard E. Grant Snubbed by Friends After His Wife's Death
Cover Images/Hubert Boesl

The 'Withnail and I' star reveals that some friends cut contact with him because they did not feel comfortable talking to him about his wife Joan Washington's passing, vowing, 'I will never speak to them again.'

AceShowbiz - Richard E. Grant has revealed how friends stopped speaking to him following his wife's death. The "Withnail and I" star's partner, dialect coach Joan Washington, passed away in 2021 after a battle with lung cancer and he explained how some pals cut contact because they did not feel comfortable talking to him about the tragic loss.

Richard told The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, "Subsequent to her death, I have had people cross the road rather than talk. Whether they think you're going to fall apart and you're an emotional wreck, I don't know. But I will never speak to them again."

The 66-year-old actor recalled how his Swedish neighbors ignored him waving at them when he sold the family's holiday home in Provence and said that the snub felt as if they had "cancelled" Joan. Richard said, "It was the market day and I saw Gustav turn to Marlen, his wife, and as I walked towards them they both turned their heads. I thought, 'F**k you.' I felt I was being punished because Joan had died. They had never acknowledged it. Maybe they didn't know how to deal with it."

The "Gosford Park" star continued, "What I have really learnt is that if you don't talk about the person that has died you are essentially saying to the person who is bereaved that person doesn't exist, or they have been cancelled. In not talking about it, you are denying somebody. I don't know whether it's a particularly English thing, but I find that if people don't talk about it, it feels very hurtful. Or just mean."

Richard explained earlier this year that he was still "in denial" about the loss of Joan. In a tearful Instagram clip, he said, "It's my late wife’s posthumous birthday today and I have been scrolling through all our photographs of our 38 years together. You look and look and look and still try and look and the time is fixed and you read into things. The last eight months of her life as she so determinately put on a brave face, it’s just so heart breaking. The wonderful trick of memory is, is that I remember her now in the prime of her life and I’m still in denial that she is not here."

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