Robin Williams’ widow says she was ‘forced’ into estate battle with his children
Robin Williams' wife, who settled an estate-related lawsuit with the comedian's children in October, says she was "forced" into taking legal action against them in the first place while she was still reeling from her husband's death.
"Two and a half weeks after Robin had left, I was still in shock, not back in our home," Susan Williams said in the second part of a "Good Morning America" interview, which aired Wednesday.
"I was told that I might not be able to keep our wedding gifts. That, 'In fact, while you're out of the house, we need to come and take everything out, and eventually, once we've gone through it all, tell us which items are yours and we'll decide whether or not that's true.'"
Robin Williams' trust had laid down guidelines about what was to go to whom, and the bulk of the disagreement reportedly revolved around what counted as celebrity memorabilia and what should be considered personal keepsakes. Also at issue were the expenses involved in maintaining the couple's Tiburon, Calif., home. The disagreement was settled out of court in principle in early October, Susan Williams' attorney told the Associated Press at the time.
"I was forced into it, basically," Susan Williams told "Good Morning America" with respect to her December 2014 court filing. The comedian's third wife also got emotional describing her reaction to the dispute over an estate said to be worth $100 million.
"I'll never forget being on the phone with one of the trustees and saying, 'What is this? I know Robin Williams is famous -- he's my husband. He's my husband. If we're talking that you guys think everything is memorabilia, then take me. He's touched me. Where does this end?'"
An attorney for Williams' adult children told the L.A. Times in February that Cody, Zelda and Zachary had been "following both the letter and the spirit of Robin's instructions" and couldn't understand why Susan Williams was "challenging the estate plan he so carefully made to provide generously not only for them but for her as well." The actor left the bulk of his estate to his kids, whom he had with his first and second wives.
In the portion of the "Good Morning America" interview that aired Tuesday, Susan Williams said that the "Good Will Hunting" Oscar winner knew he was losing his mind from a form of Parkinson's and was on the verge of getting inpatient care for his condition when he committed suicide in August 2014. His diagnosis of Lewy body dementia, which his wife revealed in the interview, was determined after an autopsy.
"Lewy body is a horrible disease that is misdiagnosed constantly. You really don't know what's going on," said Kerri Kasem, whose father Casey Kasem also suffered from the disease, speaking to the New York Daily News. "We desperately need more research on how to diagnose and treat it effectively — without someone having to die first so we can look at their brain tissue."
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