R.I.P. Richard Jeni According to his family, the comedian Richard Jeni took his own life because of his mental illness. The coroner hasn’t confirmed the cause of death, but Jeni’s family is admirably candid about what did happen. Here is part of their statement on Jeni’s website:
The family of Richard Jeni would like to put to rest any assumptions as to the cause of Richard’s death. Despite the fact that the coroner’s office has publicly stated that a suicide ruling will take two weeks, pending the results of an autopsy, Richard Jeni did take his own life.
Rumors have been circulating as to the cause of his death. The truth is: earlier this year Richard Jeni was diagnosed with severe clinical depression coupled with bouts of psychotic paranoia. One only needs to have a family member or friend with a mental illness to understand that there is nothing rational, predictable, or fair about these diseases. Mental illness is as serious as any physical affliction and can be just as devastating.
He was not down or blue, he was ill. Perhaps Richard’s passing will encourage people to have sympathy, compassion and understanding for those who are afflicted with mental illness.
I think I can speak for many mentally ill people when I say thank you to Jeni’s family for speaking out in this way.