Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'I'll Never Understand How He Could Be Loved So Deeply and Not Find It in His Heart to Stay' ROBIN WILLIAMS'S CHILDREN PAY TRIBUTE AMID ROW OVER TV HOST'S 'COWARD' SLUR OVER SUICIDE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'I'll Never Understand How He Could Be Loved So Deeply and Not Find It in His Heart to Stay' ROBIN WILLIAMS'S CHILDREN PAY TRIBUTE AMID ROW OVER TV HOST'S 'COWARD' SLUR OVER SUICIDE

Article excerpt

Byline: David Gardner in Los Angeles and Benedict Moore-Bridger

ROBIN WILLIAMS'S three children spoke of their deep adoration for the tragic actor today as a storm raged over a US TV presenter's claim that the star was a "coward" for hanging himself.

In heartbreakingly touching statements, all three told of their love for their father, who they knew was struggling through a long and ultimately doomed battle with depression.

The comments contrasted with broadcaster Shepard Smith, who attacked him on-screen for taking his own life.

Smith apologised after referring to Williams's children, saying: "You could love three little things so much, watch them grow, they're in their mid-20s and they're inspiring you and exciting you and they fill you up with the kind of joy you could never have known.

"And yet, something inside you is so horrible or you're such a coward or whatever the reason that you decide that you have to end it. Robin Williams, at 63, did that today." In what appeared a rebuttal of the attack, Williams's daughter Zelda, 25, said she felt "stripped bare" following her father's death.

But she continued: "My last day with him was his birthday and I'll be forever grateful that my brothers and I got to spend that time alone with him, sharing gifts and laughter. He was always warm, even in his darkest moments.

"While I'll never understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay, there's minor comfort in knowing our grief and loss, in some small way, is shared by millions.

"To those he touched who are sending kind words, know that one of his favourite things in the world was to make you all laugh.

"As for those who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. …

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