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Saturday 20 September 2014

‘He struggled, he was enduring inner conflict’ – Robin Williams' Irish sober-living coach

Published 12/08/2014 | 10:42

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ROBIN Williams' Irish sober-living coach has spoken about the deep inner conflict he believed the actor suffered from.

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Anthony Murray, a native of Co Meath, ran the 'Dry Dock' in San Francisco where the actor attended to maintain sobriety.

Sarah Michelle Gellar posted a montage of images with Robin Williams on Twitter
Sarah Michelle Gellar posted a montage of images with Robin Williams on Twitter
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 29:  Actors Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar arrive at the CBS/CW/Showtime Television Critic Association's summer press tour party at 9900 Wilshire Blvd on July 29, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 29: Actors Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar arrive at the CBS/CW/Showtime Television Critic Association's summer press tour party at 9900 Wilshire Blvd on July 29, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
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He revealed he coincidentally met the actor first decades earlier in a bar.

“I met Robin probably in 1982 in the Richmond district of San Francisco, where he was still doing stand-up comedy”, he told Keelin Shanley on RTE Radio One's 'Today' programme.

However it was when the star began attending the dry dock in 2005 that he gained his unique insight.

“I think what happened to Robin was that he stopped cold turkey and he did it on his own, I think he was dry for around 20 years.

“He started coming to the meetings around 2005. I think there was a big expose story in the tabloids that he relapsed.

Actor Robin Williams (R), star of the film "World's Greatest Dad", escorts Susan Schneider at the film's premiere in Los Angeles, California in this file picture taken August 13, 2009. Oscar-winning actor and comedian Williams was found dead on Monday from an apparent suicide at his home in Northern California, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63.  REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files  (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT - Tags: PROFILE ENTERTAINMENT OBITUARY)
Actor Robin Williams (R), star of the film "World's Greatest Dad", escorts Susan Schneider at the film's premiere in Los Angeles, California
Robin Williams gestures during a panel discussion for his upcoming HBO show "Robin Williams: Weapons of Self-Destruction" at the Television Critics Association Cable summer press tour in Pasadena, California in this file picture taken July 30, 2009. Oscar-winning actor and comedian Williams was found dead on Monday from an apparent suicide at his home in Northern California, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files   (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT PROFILE OBITUARY)
Oscar-winning actor and comedian Williams was found dead on Monday from an apparent suicide at his home in Northern California, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files
Robin Williams laughs, at a panel for the television series "The Crazy Ones" during the CBS portion of the Television Critics Association Summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California in this July 29, 2013 file photo. Actor-comedian Robin Williams was found dead on August 11, 2014 at his home in Northern California from an apparent suicide, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63.   REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files  (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT OBITUARY)
Actor-comedian Robin Williams was found dead on August 11, 2014 at his home in Northern California from an apparent suicide, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files

“He would share in the meetings about his difficulties, just like everyone else. The whole strategy is all about anonymity and humility.”

Click here for tributes, photos, videos and some of Robin Williams's best moments

Mr Murray said that the star faced the challenge of trying to maintain sobriety under the harsh glare of the media spotlight.

“He  just wanted to  be there as another person in recovery.

“But it’s extremely difficult if you’re a celebrity because everybody’s looking for you for stuff.

“I made sure anyone who came in there and was well known that they weren’t harassed, that they were allowed space to get sober.”

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 He explained that despite his on-screen persona, he found the star to be shy.

“He was a very shy individual. He was a very lovable character and modest. He was sort of introverted.”

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Despite his shy nature and quiet nature, Mr Murray said he got the impression he was troubled.

“I always got the impression he was enduring all kinds of inner conflict, he was a man who might have been tortured in some respects.

“He struggled, I could see that. There was an enormous pressure. He was experiencing external pressure to be somebody.”

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He also appealed to anyone struggling with alcohol or depression to get help.

“If there’s anybody out there who’s feeling depressed and has a problem with alcohol there’s all kinds of help out there."

Meanwhile, tributes continue to pour in from celebrities worldwide:

 

If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article, you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123

Irish Independent

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