Early coroners report: Williams found by assistant

Stand-up comedian Robin Williams stars in the TV series Set List. Supplied by ABC TV publicity website. Please credit photo to Dan Dion.
Stand-up comedian Robin Williams stars in the TV series Set List. Supplied by ABC TV publicity website. Please credit photo to Dan Dion. Dan Dion

ROBIN Williams committed suicide by hanging after attempting to slash one of his wrists, according to a preliminary coroner's report released today.

Marin County sheriff's spokesman Lt Keith Boyd told reporters that the beloved actor and comedian, who was 63, had hanged himself with a belt in his bedroom at his home in Tiburon, in northern California. Williams's personal assistant discovered his body shortly before midday on Monday.

The Oscar-winner was last seen alive at home late on Sunday evening. Believing he was still asleep, his wife, Susan Schneider, left the house at around 10.30am on Monday.

When Williams's personal assistant arrived just over an hour later, police said, she became worried when he failed to answer the door. She gained entry, only to find him dead, clothed and "in a seated position".

A pocket knife was found close to the actor's body, and there were superficial cuts on one of his wrists that Lt Boyd said were likely self-inflicted.

According to TMZ, there was no evidence that Williams had left a note. His death was attributed to asphyxia caused by hanging, though the investigation is ongoing, including a toxicology report which is expected to take up to six weeks.

Williams's long struggle with drug and alcohol abuse was well documented. He quit his cocaine habit and stopped drinking when his son, Zak, was born in 1983.

More than two decades later, in 2006, he checked himself into rehab after relapsing into alcoholism. He also visited a 12-step rehab programme earlier this summer, though he reportedly had not relapsed. His publicist said on Monday that he had been suffering from a "severe depression" in the months before his death.

Topics:  coroner editors picks robin williams

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