Robin Williams’ wife Susan Williams has given her first set of interviews since the beloved actor’s death.
Williams spoke with People magazine and explained that only after her husband’s passing were doctors able to determine what was going on with his body and his brain. “It was not depression that killed Robin,” Williams told People. “Depression was one of let’s call it 50 symptoms and it was a small one.”
Robin Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in May 2014, but Susan Williams said it wasn’t until after the coroner’s report came out that doctors determined her husband had Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).
DLB is a common neurological condition that is only possible to conclusively diagnose through a postmortem autopsy, according to The Alzheimer’s Association. It’s the third most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, and it may cause hallucinations, impairment of motor function and symptoms similar to Parkinson’s.
“Everyone did the very best they could,” Williams told ABC News. “This disease is like a sea monster with 50 tentacles of symptoms that show when they want. It’s chemical warfare in the brain. And we can’t find it until someone dies definitively. There is no cure.”
When asked about her husband’s suicide, Williams said she didn’t “blame him one bit” for taking his life. She added that she was able to see the actor after emergency responders arrived at the couple’s home: “I got to pray with him 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.’”
Williams hopes her family’s struggles and findings can help others with DLB. “This was a very unique case and I pray to God that it will shed some light on Lewy bodies for the millions of people and their loved ones who are suffering with it,” she told People. “Because we didn’t know. He didn’t know.”