Robin Williams' wife breaks silence about actor's suicide: 'We did everything we could'

Robin Williams' Widow Susan Says Dementia Killed Him

Robin Williams's wife, Susan, opens up about the actor's longtime battle with depression in her first sit-down television interview since his death on Aug. 11, 2014.

Susan spoke with ABC New's Amy Robach in an emotional interview that aired in part on Tuesday's Good Morning America, and reveals that she believed dementia is what "killed" her famous husband -- though she never suspected he would take his own life.

"I mean, he was sick and tired of what was going on, absolutely," Susan says, adding that "Lewy body dementia killed Robin."

"It's what took his life," she continues, "and that's what I've spent the last year trying to get to the bottom of: 'What took my husband's life?'"

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As to whether she she thinks Robin was losing his mind, Susan is sure of it. "Absolutely. And he was aware of it. He was keeping it together as best as he could, but the last night he could not. It was like the dam broke."

After the Oscar winner's death, it was revealed that the he had also been battling Parkinson's disease, but Susan says, in a way, they had been preparing for such news for some time. "When he got the Parkinson's diagnosis, in one sense, it was like this is it. ...We've been chasing something, now we found it," she says. "And we felt the sense of release and relief. But also, like, 'Oh my God, what does this mean?'"

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Looking back, Susan says she feels Robin's friends and family did all they could for the 63-year-old actor.

"People have in passing will come, they would say to me, 'God, I wish I had done something more for him. If only I had called him.' And I'm thinking, 'No one could have done anything more for Robin,'" she explains. "I just want everyone to know that. Nobody -- no one-- everyone did the very best they could."

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That said, Susan is still mourning the death of Robin, over a year later. "[The pain] ... just all of it will never go," she says. "It's the best love I ever dreamed of. It's what I always dreamed of love would be, really based on just honor, love, respect."

RELATED: Notable Robin Williams quotes

Robin Williams Quotes
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Robin Williams' wife breaks silence about actor's suicide: 'We did everything we could'

“You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”

Photo Credit: Jack Mitchell, Getty

“Comedy is acting out optimism.”

​Photo Credit: Jack Mitchell, Getty

“You have this idea that you’d better keep working otherwise people will forget. And that was dangerous.”

Photo Credit: NBC via Getty

“See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.”

​Photo Credit: Jack Mitchell, Getty

“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel alone.”

Photo Credit: Alan Levenson via Getty

“We’ve had cloning in the South for years. It’s called cousins.”

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“If I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you’d probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can’t tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You’re a tough kid. And I’d ask you about war, you’d probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, “once more unto the breach dear friends.” But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I’d ask you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn’t know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms “visiting hours” don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, ’cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you… I don’t see an intelligent, confident man… I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you’re a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart.” (From Good Will Hunting)

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“Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t cope with drugs.”

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“You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe; harmonic connection between all living beings, every where, even the stars.” (From August Rush)

Photo Credit: Vera Anderson via Getty

“We were romantics. We didn’t just read poetry. We let it drip from our tongues like honey. Spirits soared. Women swooned, and gods were created, gentlemen. Not a bad way to spend an evening, eh?” (From Dead Poet’s Society)

Photo Credit: Time & Life Pictures via Getty

“They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you. Their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen. You hear it? Carpe—hear it? Carpe, carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” (From Dead Poet’s Society)

Photo Credit: Frank Edwards via Getty

“Okra is the closest thing to nylon I’ve ever eaten. It’s like they bred cotton with a green bean. Okra, tastes like snot. The more you cook it, the more it turns into string.”

​Photo Credit: Jack Mitchell, Getty

“All of life is a coming home. Salesmen, secretaries, coal miners, beekeepers, sword swallowers, all of us. All the restless hearts of the world, all trying to find a way home.” (From Patch Adams)

Photo Credit: Ron Galella, Ltd. via Getty

“You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I’ll guarantee you’ll win.” (From Patch Adams)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictured via Getty

“Do you think God gets stoned? I think so … look at the platypus.”

Photo Credit: Time & Life Pictures via Getty

“The Moon… It hangs like a testicle in the sky…”

Photo Credit: Ron Galella, Getty

“I believe in destiny. There must be a reason that I am as I am. There must be.”

Photo Credit: Scott Gries, Getty

“Most of all, I want to thank my father, up there, the man who when I said I wanted to be an actor, he said, ‘Wonderful. Just have a back-up profession like welding’.”

Photo Credit: Ron Galella, Getty

"What's right is what's left if you do everything else wrong."

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“Death is nature’s way of saying, ‘your table is ready.’”

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. via Getty


"Time will never heal that wound, and you can feel it, you can hear it you can see it, on her face," Robach told ET of her sit down with Williams. "She's tortured by the loss of what she calls the love of her life."

Susan later recalled that in her last conversation with Robin, he asked if she wanted a foot rub.

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"I said, 'It's OK, honey. Not -- you know, it's OK. You don't have to tonight.' And I'll never forget the look in his eyes of just, sad because he wanted to. And I wished -- you know?" she said. "Then he came back in the room a couple of times. Once to his closet. And he said -- and then he laughed, and he said, 'Goodnight, my love.' And I said, 'Goodnight, my love.'"

"And I thought, 'This is good,'" Susan recalled. "And then he said, 'Goodnight. Goodnight.' That was the last."

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Upon hearing the news of her husband's suicide, she says she screamed the whole way to see him, "Robin!"

When Susan arrived, emergency responders were working on the actor and she wasn't able to see him right away. "I just wanted to see my husband. And I got to see him and I got to pray with him," she said. "And I got to tell him, 'I forgive you 50 billion percent, with all my heart. You're the bravest man I've ever known.' You know, we were living a nightmare."

Robin Williams' Widow Breaks Down in First Interview Since His Death
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