On Robin Williams' death and ex-wives | The Naked Divorce

Is Robin Williams’ Death on his Ex-Wives’ Hands?

I had a very tossy and turny sleep and woke up utterly furious. This never happens to me, but whenever I get this angry about something, I know a chord has been struck.

Robin Williams’ death is utterly tragic. The world has been in collective shock and it’s reached in and grabbed people by the hearts in a way that no other celebrity death has previously. He was such a gentle person and what I observe is the world in a dance of sadness, shock, guilt and outrage.

Sadness is understandable

He was an amazing actor and his films made people laugh and cry. Some of the best films I have seen have had him in it. He shared vulnerably and touched many with his gentle soul. In reading what people think it feels like many are so sad because he made so many of us smile and yet in his death he was so alone. The global sense of mourning is so pervasive that even ISIS have stopped killing people to remember his spirit.

Shock is also understandable

It’s horrible to think that someone could be so lonely and desperate that death is the only way out of their pain. None of us can believe the way in which he took his own life and that he strangled himself with his own belt. This was no cry for help, he wanted to die.

Guilt is understandable

Perhaps in some way he represents our lack of attentiveness to others in the mass of busyness and self absorption we have with our own lives. When I look back at interviews of him in the past year it was so clear how emotional, incoherent, sad and desperate he was and yet none of the interviewers reached out or did anything to intervene; they just carried on.

His death has been a gentle reminder to pay attention to those around us. This has certainly made me stand back and look at people in my own life and wonder if I am stepping over any signs that they might be coming apart at the seams. I am jolted to not step over those things anymore.

The outrage

The outrage. I feel an anger within myself and am consequently noticing the underlying anger in those around me. Why am I so angry? To ponder this I want to share this piece I read in the Washington Post:


Robin Williams worked in Hollywood for over 35 years. But after an impressive career, the Oscar-winning actor has announced that he’s on the verge of bankruptcy. He blames his financial situation on two costly divorces. Williams divorced his first wife in 1988 and ended his second marriage with Marsha Garces in 2008, after 19 years. “Divorce is expensive. It’s ripping your heart out through your wallet,” he told Parade magazine. The 62-year-old actor is now forced to sell his $35 million house to help cover some of his debt.

 This paragraph struck something within me that I feel SO passionate about. Here is a talented Oscar winner who has made over $100m in his life. How is it possible that he can be facing bankruptcy and forced to sell his assets and take any job he can to make ends meet because he has been so financially stripped during his divorces? In several interviews he spoke of the immense pressure and stress he felt at his financial situation and he attributed that to his divorces.

We can all appreciate that a woman will choose to “sacrifice” her career and body so that a family can be created.

At the same time she does this, the man works harder to provide, his productivity rises, he’s more focused and more intentional. His commercial value goes up and hers goes down. So, in the case of a family, it seems somewhat fair to give the woman a fair share to reflect the role she played in the family.

However in Robin’s case of £100M earnings, it seems outrageous that he was stripped back to nothing to make another person fabulously wealthy. How can the laws of any country ALLOW two women to financially ‘rape’ someone to such an extent that this person faces financial ruin in the the process? Where is the justice in that?

Divorce is enough of a trauma to add bankruptcy over above that – it’s just not right.

This man was traumatised multiple times in the past 2 years and the system allowed this to happen. So as I reflect on his passing and remember his amazing contribution to my life and the lives of those around me, I will continue to be focused on transforming the way divorce happens today. I will continue to be outspoken against the laws that facilitate this type of financial pillaging that happens during divorce.

Not everyone who divorces does this, but sometimes people get bitter and they feel a sense of entitlement that I really don’t understand. This sense of entitlement is then encouraged by divorce lawyers through a process which facilitates the taking of someone’s assets in an unfair exchange.

I don’t care what anyone says; it’s just not right that a woman is entitled to everything a man has accumulated in his life during divorce.

That is just vengeful and unfair. There are words for taking something you didn’t earn: STEALING and PIRACY come to mind. I know it’s harsh to say such things in the wake of his passing but sometimes I feel we are too politically correct in the world. We are so afraid of offending people that we simmer and sit on things we truly feel.

In terms of his suicide, Robin Williams did choose to take his own life and that is very sad and devastating. None of us were there the day he decided to take his own life and anyone who has lost someone they love to suicide has to accept it was their choice to leave the world in that way.

Whatever his motivations were, often depression is a culmination of many things which drag one down into a pit of despair, and it’s the culmination and overwhelm which squashes people’s light.

I therefore have little doubt that these financial pressures impacted his life negatively.

We all pray that he can rest in peace now. To answer the question asked in the controversial title of this piece, I don’t believe that his ex wives have blood on their hands. But, in my opinion, his financial situation as a result of his divorces contributed to him taking his own life.

For whatever reason, it made his life to unbearable to live. His ex-wives will have to live with this knowledge for the rest of their lives. I hope that the US review the laws surrounding divorce and look at how they allowed this to happen.

Either way, if you are going through a divorce, it doesn’t matter what your partner did.

I don’t care if he cheated with a school cheer-leading team or slept with horses during your marriage: hurting anyone because you feel hurt is going to come back to bite you. Step back from your vengeance and do the right thing.

Part ethically and amicably. Fight for a fair settlement. Do not strip your ex of everything they have. Do not allow the system to talk you into a ridiculous sense of entitlement that you don’t have a right to. There is nothing cool about that.

If you have taken your ex for everything they have in the past, I challenge you to consider giving it back to free yourself from that negative energy. I will continue to campaign against these US and UK laws which allow people to do such things.

I hope you can accept my rant. Over and Out.



  1. As I have read the deeper news around the terribly sad suicide the details of Robin Williams financial situation make all this seem like it could have been avoided.Divorce is terrible and their will always been both sides of the story but when it takes a person to financial ruin how can anyone feel that is justified? I dont know the personal details but those that do will wake up every morning thinking about it for a very long time.

  2. This is a gorgeous, beautifully written article and I wholeheartedly agree with you about the divorce laws and greedy lawyers. Thank you for saying what is on a lot of people’s minds. Your honesty is refreshing.

    RIP Robin. xo

  3. I agree with you Adele, the emotional pain of betrayal and divorce is shattering enough without the added trauma of financial wreckage. It does seem unfair that those exceptionally gifted, rare human beings, the true creative geniuses amongst us, can be ripped off by mediocre Exes who did not possess the talent and ability to achieve great success and wealth. There are many cruel examples of unfair divorces of the rich and famous.
    As you point out his two bitter divorces and loss of contact with children were most likely part of the heavy emotional burden Robin Williams carried.
    Like you I feel very sad and angry that counsellors and therapists failed to help him through his black despair. How tragically ironic that such famous, visible, publicly-adored people die alone without support and help.

  4. I strongly agree with your statements! Really hits home. My ex took over $300,000 from my pension, gets $1400 a month for 1 minor child and yes taking me back for more! yet my children come to me, their Dad who gives them unconditional love, for everything. When does it end?

  5. you hit the nail on the head. they destroyed a beautiful soul, all for their own insatiable greed. a lump sum should have been enough, and they should have had to work. if all they were qualified to do was wal-mart greeter, SO BE IT!

  6. Just look at the 3.500 suicides in Greece ever since the financial crisis started.

  7. Robin Williams didn’t kill himself over money. He’s not that shallow. And besides, he still had 50 million dollars in assets, which he left to his children. Yes, he likely “only” had 15 million in liquid assets and 35 million tied up in his house, so he may be forced to downsize his house, but he would still have PLENTY of money to live comfortably, even if he chose to retire. Robin Williams left this world because this world didn’t deserve him. Just like Don McLean said about Vincent Van Gogh, “this world was never made for someone as beautiful as you.”

    Any wealthy person knows that they are going to lose half of their assets in a divorce, unless they do a pre-nup. If he were so concerned about the money then why not do a pre-nup? Or not get married at all? And he did it TWICE. Fool me once….

    And as far as changing the divorce laws, how would you even implement that? Are you suggesting we have one set of rules for regular people, and one set of rules for wealthy people? And what about the uber-wealthy…a third set of rules for billionaires? I mean, a billionaire could lose 90 percent of his assets and still have over 100 million left. I’m not suggesting this would be fair, I’m just pointing out that every divorce has a different set of financial consequences for the husband and wife. So you can’t legislate for each and every different case. So our law is that assets are usually split 50/50. “All divorce are created equal.”

  8. And women wonder, “where are are all the ‘Good Men’ “?
    More and more men have finally realized that the best and ONLY foolproof way to avoid divorce is to AVOID MARRIAGE.

  9. I found your article to be very insulting to women everywhere. Horrid. May you never feel the sting of your husband committing suicide.

  10. Why is anyone surprised? No matter how sad this is, women grandstanding that their shrieking sisters shouldnt strip a man’s entire wealth through divorce is just plain disingenuous. We are shrinking economically back to the 1930s and soon enough gold digger laws may get debated and reinstated again. All because you cowards are not interested in discussing workplace democracy.

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