UPDATED with additional Scott Baio comments: After responding to tweets critical of comments he made on a Monday radio interview about Erin Moran following her death on Saturday, Scott Baio has given a lengthier explanation on his Facebook page.
He said that when he first heard of his former Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi co-star’s death, he was “sad, in disbelief, sick to my stomach and in complete shock.”
Baio said he read headlines following Moran’s death that claimed the actress died of a drug overdose and he was “very upset and angry” to read that. “This is one of my [worst] fears for her… I was on an emotional rollercoaster. I hadn’t slept well since the news of her passing.”
Baio said he was “still upset up” when he conducted the radio interview yesterday.
He concluded the post by saying, “Please stop assuming the [worst] in me. I’m a compassionate person. I’m very heartbroken over her passing, especially since it was cancer.”
Baio also posted an open letter from Moran’s husband Steve which detailed Moran’s illness. In the letter, Steve said Moran was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in December and her condition worsened quickly. She had gone through chemo and radiation, but by the middle of February, he says she could no longer speak, eat or drink, and she died in her sleep on Saturday.
PREVIOUS, April 24, 3:29 PM: Scott Baio’s comments earlier today on a WABC radio show about the death of his former Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi co-star Erin Moran sparked a sharp reaction on Twitter, and Baio has responded.
In a Monday morning interview on The Bernie and Sid Show, Baio said he was “not completely shocked” by Moran’s death, and suggested that drugs and alcohol may have at least played a part in her passing at the age of 56. His comments were made before coroner and sheriff’s officials announced her death was the result of complications from Stage 4 cancer.
“I’m OK, a little shocked but not completely shocked that this happened,” Baio said earlier on the radio program. “My thing is, I feel bad because her whole life, she was troubled, could never find what made her happy and content. For me, you do drugs or drink, you’re gonna die. I’m sorry if that’s cold, but God gave you a brain, gave you the will to live and thrive and you gotta take care of yourself.”
Baio was met with some criticism after his remarks and the announcement of the official cause of death. When asked if he regretted his comments, he responded, “I said IF.”
Shortly after her death Saturday, Baio posted the tweets below.