The news of Robin Williams’ suicide last month rocked most of the world – including members of ISIS surprisingly – and it seems that more details about it are constantly emerging as we try to understand what caused him to take his own life.
More information has been released today as the result of a Billy Connolly interview where he talks about the last few times he talked to his good friend Robin Williams. The pair met on a Canadian talk show 30 years ago and hit it off, often going on holiday together in the summer.
Connolly himself was diagnosed with Parkinson’s last year and has battled the disease publicly and he reveals that Williams himself had also been diagnosed, but had kept it secret from everyone except his closest family. Williams looked to Connolly for guidance about how to deal with the disease. Here’s what Connolly had to say about the heartbreaking final moments between them:
He was diagnosed after me and he was on the phone a lot asking me about it. But phoning me for advice is an absolute waste of fucking time because I don’t have it.
It broke my heart when he died. I was in Malta with my family and my children were all crying. They all loved him. He is a stunning guy… You notice I don’t speak about him in the past tense? It’s still not sunk in, I keep expecting him to walk in.
I gave him some advice about how to handle the lack of facial expression that is an effect of the disease. He phoned me a week later, just days before it happened, and he said ‘it’s brilliant it’s working’.
During the call he kept telling me he loved me. I said ‘I know’. But he kept repeating it saying ‘do you really know I love you’. I was thinking what the f*** is he on about? After his death I thought ‘oh my God he was saying goodbye’.
I thought he phoned me in the middle of the night… but he couldn’t have. My phone went in the middle of the night and I just left it. The phone was on the other side of the bedroom and I thought f*** that, it’s four in the morning. When I got up it was a Californian number. But he didn’t have my Maltese number… so it couldn’t have been him. It couldn’t have.
I know nothing about it but it seems to me that everything got on top of him, his show coming off the TV, his age, Parkinson’s and blah blah blah.
And he just did the thing. But his legacy is immense, his record is there for everybody to see. He was such a joy, he never had a bad word to say about anybody. I enjoy bitching about people. He would just laugh. I never heard him do that ever.
Solemn stuff. At least he got a chance to say goodbye though which is more than can be said for his daughter who had to pen this heartbreaking goodbye instead.