Michael Fishman is opening up about the tragic death of his son Larry for the first time. Four months after Larry died of a drug overdose in June, The Conners actor broke his silence on his loss and grief in a candid interview with Tamron Hall on Wednesday, revealing that he decided to break his silence in the hopes that his loss will help others.
Asked when he learned "Larry was struggling with drug abuse," Fishman told Hall that "it wasn't so much a struggle" for his son, stating that, "people try things over time and that wasn't really an issue overall," according to Us Weekly. Fishman, who shares daughter Isabelle and son Aaron with ex-wife Jennifer Briner, said that Larry "moved to a house in transition after living with his sister for a little while, and he tried drugs that turned out to be bad drugs that multiple people had a very serious reaction." Following his death, the actor – who said that Larry, who was in foster care and was about to age out, became a part of his "family unit" after meeting his sister Camille – said he felt like he "came to Larry, maybe later than I wish I could [have]. And I think for parents, you know, you wish you had more time."
View this post on Instagram
Up to this point, Fishman had refrained from speaking out about his son's passing, though he had remembered Larry with a post captioned "Always in my heart" on National Sons Day in September. He told Hall that he chose to address Larry's death now with the hopes that sharing his son’s story will help others going through the same thing.
"It's this combination of trying to find a way to help my kids grieve and go through that process and to model positive behavior," he explained. "A couple years ago, I probably would have never shared this, to be honest with you. But if it can — [if] one other person can relate. If it can help you talk to your kids in some way."
Fishman said that "if it opens up a dialogue, where you just listen because I think the trauma that lies underneath [is there]. The really important part is that you're brave enough to admit when you struggle and that you need help or that you aren't strong."