Happy Days star Scott Baio has apologized for bringing up Erin Moran’s drug issues at a radio talk show on Monday following her death.
Baio told TMZ that he was sorry for bringing up his Happy Days co-star’s struggles with drug use, explaining that he was mistaken about Erin Moran’s cause of death when he made the statement.
Scott says that he went to bed on Sunday reading reports suggesting that Moran might have died of a heroin overdose. The next morning, Baio went into The Bernie & Sid Show with that in mind. He said that he was upset and angry over the news since he had feared for a long time that Moran would die because of her dependency on drugs.
— USA News (@1USNews) April 25, 2017
Hours after his radio interview ended, reports emerged confirming Erin Moran’s cause of death: complications from stage 4 cancer. Scott Baio, shocked, said that he would’ve avoided talking about the actress’s drug issues if he had known.
Baio told TMZ that Moran hadn’t revealed to him that she had been battling cancer, even if she had talked to his wife, Renee, last month. The actor said that Moran’s loss hit him hard because his wife Renee has battled cancer herself numerous times in the past.
Scott Baio received backlash over the statements he made about Moran’s struggles with drug use. As established recently by Scott, the real cause of Moran’s death had not been revealed at the time.
— Variety (@Variety) April 25, 2017
“I’m OK, a little shocked but not completely shocked that this happened. My thing is, I feel bad because her whole life, she was troubled, could never find what made her happy and content,” Baio said on Monday.
“For me, you do drugs or drink, you’re gonna die. I’m sorry if that’s cold, but God gave you a brain, gave you the will to live and thrive and you gotta take care of yourself.”
The Harrison County Coroner’s Office revealed that Moran “likely succumbed to complications” from stage 4 cancer. The type of cancer she died from has not been disclosed.
Police haven’t found any stash of “illegal narcotics” at Moran’s home, but a full toxicology report is still pending.
On Monday’s broadcast, while talking about Erin Moran’s drug-related issues, Scott Baio said that he wasn’t sure if that was what killed her.
“I knew Erin well, over the last many years I have not spoken with her. She was just an insecure human being and fell into this world of drugs and alcohol,” Baio said. “Again, I don’t know if that’s what killed her, I’m sure it was a culmination of years and years of doing it that might have had something to do with it. She just never found her way.”
“How do you help somebody that doesn’t want to help themselves? You try a couple of times and if they don’t want the help, I gotta go, sorry.”
Scott Baio also took to Facebook to defend himself against the backlash, explaining that he raised Erin Moran’s drug issues because he was asked about her “troubled past.”
“I was still upset and said I felt that living that kind of a lifestyle will catch up with you and nothing good would come of it. I’m also trying to process this loss. Erin was my very first real girlfriend. My wife and Erin contacted each other and spoke often for over a decade. I even had her on my reality show years ago. I DID reach out to her over a span of 30 years. Please stop assuming the worse in me. I’m a compassionate person. I’m very heartbroken over her passing, especially since it was cancer.”
— Scott Baio (@ScottBaio) April 23, 2017
Erin Moran’s “Happy Days”
Erin Moran joined the cast of Happy Days in 1974 when she was only 13, according to BBC. She also made appearances in Murder She Wrote and The Waltons. In 2010, she joined some Happy Days co-stars to file a suit against CBS for not paying them the proceeds from the revenues earned by the show through merchandising.
In 2012, the suit was settled, with each actor getting paid $65,000. The actors, however, asked for $10 million.
Erin Moran had been seen outside motels since then, with reports suggesting that she spent all of the settlement money she received, then eventually becoming homeless.
[Featured Image by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images]