Most of us remember Robin Williams as an iconic and beloved talent who passed away too soon. When radio personality Howard Stern thinks of the comedian, he is filled with deep pain and regret. Williams committed suicide in August of 2014, shocking the world and devastating his family, friends, and fans. He was 63-years-old. Much of the world only knew Williams as the lively and jovial actor who was always making people laugh. Few were aware of the battles he was struggling with in silence. Stern certainly wasn’t aware. Prior to Williams’ death, the actor sat down for an interview on The Howard Stern Show. Stern now wishes he had handled that particular interview differently and treated Williams with more kindness, according to Fox News.
Stern is known for his often brash interview style and his interaction with Williams in the 1990s went no different. At the time Williams was wrapped up in a highly publicized cheating scandal and Stern didn’t hesitate to hit him where it hurt the most. He had barely sat down for the interview before Stern started laying into him.
Why did he conduct himself in that manner? The 65-year-old radio personality claims that he actually loved Williams and looked up to him for his talent. But he didn’t want to convey that to his audience because of his own pride and personal need to be the funniest person in the room.
“I also have a regret about Robin Williams that haunts me. I was so angry at the world. I love Robin Williams, and yet if he came into my studio, I had to act like I didn’t love him.”
Now Stern only wishes that he’d used the opportunity that he had been given to interview this talented actor to actually get to know him better and have a funny and uplifting conversation. Maybe he could have offered him a little comfort rather than cruelly choosing to add to his pain. If he had the chance to do it all over again, he would have had more humility and given Williams the credit he was due.
“I’ve learned there was a way to talk about what was going on in Robin Williams’ personal life. I could’ve expressed to him the beauty of Robin Williams. Who knows what he would have revealed? Who knows what impressions he would have broken into? It brings me to tears to imagine what that moment could have been like.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.