Henry Rollins has apologized for the column he wrote for L.A. Weekly earlier this week criticizing Robin Williams over his suicide. In a note posted to his website on Friday evening, Rollins called the anger his article provoked “off the scale and in my opinion, well placed.”
“That I hurt anyone by what I said, and I did hurt many, disgusts me. It was not at all my intent but it most certainly was the result,” he wrote. “I have had a life of depression. Some days are excruciating. Knowing what I know and having been through what I have, I should have known better but I obviously did not. I get so mad when I hear that someone has died this way. Not mad at them, mad at whatever got them there and that no one magically appeared to somehow save them.”
In the original column, which was published on Thursday, Rollins excoriated Williams for traumatizing his three children by taking his life. While praising the actor’s talents and his work on USO tours, Rollins said that he regards people who have committed suicide “with a bit of disdain.” “I know they existed, yet they have nullified their existence because they willfully removed themselves from life,” he wrote. “They were real but now they are not.”
Rollins is not the only notable music figure to apologize for recent remarks about depression. Earlier this month, Kiss’ Gene Simmons drew ire from Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx, among many others, for dismissive and insensitive comments about suicide in an interview with Songfacts.com. Shortly afterward, he apologized on Facebook. “I recognize that depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones,” he wrote.
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After relating his own experiences with depression in his new note, Rollins again returned to his tone of contrition. “I am not asking for a break from the caning, take me to the woodshed as much as you see fit,” he said. “If what I said has caused you to be done with me, I get it.” He noted that he wrote a follow-up for L.A. Weekly that will be published on Monday, but wanted to express his thoughts immediately.
“I am deeply sorry,” he wrote. “Down to my marrow. I can’t think that means anything to you, but I am.”