Saturday, August 16, 2014

Robin Williams' wife reveals actor was in early stages of Parkinson's disease

Robin Williams' wife reveals actor was in early stages of Parkinson's disease

Susan Schneider says Williams was sober at time of his death on Monday and that he was not ready to disclose diagnosis

Robin Williams and Susan Schneider
Robin Williams and his wife Susan Schneider arrive for the World Premiere of the movie Happy Feet Two in 2011. Photograph: Hubert Boesl/dpa/Corbis
The wife of Robin Williams revealed that he was suffering from the early stages of Parkinson’s disease when he killed himself, aged 63, earlier this week.
In a statement, Susan Schneider said Williams, who had fought addiction in earlier years, had been sober and that the actor was “not yet ready” to disclose his diagnosis.
Williams was found dead at his California home that he shared with Schneider on Monday by his personal assistant who became worried when the actor didn’t respond to knock on the bedroom door. He was last seen alive on Sunday night.
Schneider asked that the statement be run in full. It reads:
Robin spent so much of his life helping others.
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.
Williams had lately been battling severe depression, his representative, Mara Buxbaum, said in an earlier statement.
Tributes to the Oscar-winning actor and comedian poured in across social media and makeshift memorials popped up around the country. Most shared kind, funny or touching memories of the actor who was known for his big heart.
But Twitter announced it would look into improving its user-protection policies after some users sent disturbing messages and photos to Williams’ daughter, Zelda.
“We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter,” Twitter’s vice-president of trust and safety, Del Harvey, said in a statement. “We have suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one.”
Zelda Williams abandoned Twitter and Instagram on Tuesday, announcing her decision in a final tweet that read: “I’m sorry. I should’ve risen above. Deleting this from my devices for a good long time, maybe forever. Time will tell. Goodbye.”


Robin Williams / 'I was shameful, did stuff that caused disgust – that's hard to recover from'

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