• Thu. Sep 29th, 2022

Inside Robin Williams death – tragic misdiagnosis, paranoia and estate fight

Aug 11, 2022

He is known for his razor-sharp wit and precise comedic timing in films such as Mrs Doubtfire and Jumanji.

But behind Robin Williams' amazing personality that had the power to light up any room, there were some dark demons the comic often hid from the lime light.

It’s fair to say the Hollywood actor spent almost his whole life making people laugh and he was highly respected among his peers and cherished by his millions of fans all over the world.

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Tragically, on August 11, 2014, the Good Will Hunting star was found dead in his lavish home in the heart of Paradise City, California.

As fans of the award-winning star mark the eighth anniversary of his passing, Daily Star has taken a look inside his revealing autopsy and the tragic days leading up to his death.

Final days

Three months before his death, Robin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, news he shared with his new wife Susan Schneider Williams and his three children.

However, the comic decided to keep his life changing diagnosis to himself otherwise, so the star asked his loved ones to keep his condition to themselves for the time being.

It is understood that the star still battled with paranoia, anxiety and depression over the last few months of his life and reportedly made plans to go to a neurocognitive testing facility to dig deeper into his mysterious condition.

According to Vanity Fair, the star’s health quickly deteriorated after he started struggling to complete household tasks and tripping over his feet around the house.

His wife recalled how angry he became at his debilitating condition and the effect it was having on his body.

She told the publication: “He was angry because by now he was so mad at himself for what his body was doing, for what his mind was doing.

“He would sometimes now start standing and being in trance-like states and frozen. He had just done that with me and he was so upset. He was so upset.”

The last time his close friend Mark Pitta saw Robin was at the Throckmorton Theatre at the end of July.

He confessed how scared he felt for the star, even claiming that Robin “wasn’t my friend” anymore.

When he and Robin left the theatre at the end of the evening, Pitta said: “I gave him a hug and I said goodbye.

“He said goodbye to me three times that night and he said it exactly the same way. He goes, ‘Take care, Marky.’ He said it three times.”

On August 10, Robin and Susan were home together when Robin reportedly began to fixate on some of his designer watches that he had collected over the years, fearful that they were in danger of being stolen.

At around 7pm, the star is thought to have stuffed several of his prized possessions into a sock and gave them to his close friends for safekeeping.

When he returned home, his wife was getting ready for bed as she remembered his final words were: “Goodnight, my love,” before he retreated to his bedroom on the other side of their sprawling home.

She added: “I’m thinking, ‘OK, stuff is working. The medication, he’s getting sleep.”

But the following morning, his personal assistant sadly found the star had died by suicide at 11.24am on August 11 at the age of 63.

Revealing autopsy

In the days after the star’s passing, a coroner completed a thorough autopsy which gave a deeper insight into Robin’s deteriorating health in recent months.

The 35-page report revealed the star had “suffered sporadically from depression for most of his adult life” in addition to his past history of drug and alcohol abuse in the past.

However, the star had been very upfront about his battle with addiction in the past and at the time of his death the comic had been sober for eight years.

The autopsy also indicated that his brain showed “diffuse Lewy body dementia” which can often be mistaken for Parkinson’s disease because it also causes motor symptoms characteristic of Parkinson’s disease.

Speaking to the Guardian ahead of her documentary, Robin’s Wish, released in 2020, Susan revealed that the star had been misdiagnosed and didn’t learn of his true diagnosis until his death.

She added to the publication: “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.’ The fact that something had infiltrated every part of my husband’s brain? That made perfect sense.”

Sadly, Robin died by suicide one week before they were scheduled to visit a neurocognitive testing facility.

Talking of his death, she added: “I think he didn’t want to go. I think he thought: ‘I’m going to get locked up and never come out’.”

Eye-watering estate

Prior to his death, the actor had taken great care with his will in the hope that his family wouldn’t fight over his eye-watering $100million (£83m) estate.

Yet in spite of his efforts, things did turn sour between his widow and his three children from his two previous marriages.

The Mork & Mindy star had an iron-tight will in place which outlined his vast estate would be handed strictly to his three children Zachary, Zelda and Cody Williams.

However, this was conditional that Susan could continue to live in the home that he shared with her which his brood would later inherit.

His children believed that Susan had been “seeking to increase her share of the trust assets at the expense of the Williams children”.

Susan denied claims arguing that she was merely attempting to hold onto personal items from her life with Robin.

In February 2015, The New York Times saw court documents which highlighted Robin’s children’s characterisation of Susan.

In them, Robin’s widow was accused of attempting to increase the value of the trust Williams had left behind relaying to the courts she had shown “greed” after only being married to him for “less than three years”.

Susan hit back saying her home had been “invaded by Robin’s offspring who had attempted to take personal items without her permission”.

The items in question included: the tuxedo he was married in, jewellery, photos that were taken before his third marriage, awards including two Emmys, five Grammys, six Golden Globes, and the 1997 Academy Award for Best Supporting actor for his role in Good Will Hunting.

Later that year, Robin’s three children and his widow reached an agreement in court – with official terms being kept under wraps.

While many terms had not been disclosed Susan’s lawyer James Wagstaff confirmed to the Associated Press that she would remain in the house with living expenses for the rest of her life.

It was also reported that Susan was allowed to keep items including a watch, bicycle and wedding gifts.

After the court hearing, Susan released a statement in People magazine which read: “While it’s hard to speak of this as a win, given it stems from the greatest loss of all, I am deeply grateful to the judge for helping resolve these issues.

“I can live in peace knowing that my husband’s wishes were honoured.”

Zachary, Zelda and Cody also released a statement through their own attorney, which read: “The children are relieved to have this behind them.”

For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.


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