Valerie Velardi, Robin Williams’ Ex-Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Williams’ star on Hollywood Blvd after news of his death broke. (Getty)

Robin Williams Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

As we remember Robin Williams, let’s take a look at one aspect of Williams’ past … his love life. Williams was married three times, and his first wife was a woman named Valerie Velardi. Read on for the facts on Valerie and her marriage to the late icon.

1. Valerie And Robin Have One Child Together

Robin Williams had one child with Valerie, Zachary Pym Williams, also called Zak. In the couple’s divorce, Robin got shared custody with flexible rights.

People magazine described the custody arrangement in a 1988 profile of Williams:

More than a year ago, after many stormy scenes, Robin and Valerie signed a private, out-of-court separation agreement that provides for shared custody of their son on a flexible basis. When Robin is out of town (as he often is), the boy lives with his mother in her San Francisco apartment; when Robin is at home in another section of the city, Zachary spends as much time as possible with him.

2. Robin Cheated On Valerie With a Cocktail Waitress Who Later Sued Him

Robin Williams


In 1984, Robin Williams met a cocktail waitress named Michelle Tish Carter who he had a fling with while married to Valerie. Wikipedia writes about the affair and the lawsuit that came along with it:

During Williams’s first marriage, he was involved in an extramarital relationship with Michelle Tish Carter, a cocktail waitress whom he met in 1984. She sued him in 1986, claiming that he did not tell her he was infected with the herpes simplex virus before he embarked on a sexual relationship with her in the mid-1980s, during which, she said, he transmitted the virus to her. The case was settled out of court.

To join a discussion about the beloved Robin Williams – his life, his death, and more, click here to read and comment in our FORUM.

3. Robin’s Second Wife Was Hired By His First Wife As Their Nanny

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Marsha Garces met Robin when she was actually the nanny for his son Zachary. People writes:

At 35, Robin is caught up in a private turmoil of passion and anguish. He is torn between two strong women: Valerie Velardi Williams, 36, the wife of nine years he deeply respects but no longer wants to live with, and Marsha Garces, now in her late 20s, the mistress he madly adores. Sloe-eyed, elegantly slender, Garces arrived in his life four years ago when Valerie (as she grimly acknowledges) hired her as a live-in nanny for baby Zachary, who is now almost 5.

This proved to be the last straw for Valerie and she divorced Robin in 1988. Robin married Marsha in 1989, while she was already pregnant with their daughter Zelda.

4. Valerie & Robin Met in a Tavern & Later Appeared Together in ‘Popeye’

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Valerie, also a comedian, appeared with Williams in 1980 in Popeye, in which Williams starred as the spinach-eating sailor man and Velardi played Cindy – the Drudge.

According to People, the two met in a San Francisco tavern in 1976:

They met in 1976 in a San Francisco tavern. He had cut loose from the Juilliard School of Drama in his third year and was working as a bartender while getting his comedy act together. She was working as a waitress while taking a graduate degree at Mills College. They formed a union of opposites. She was raised in New Haven, Conn., the daughter of an Italian contractor. He was raised in suburban Detroit, the son of a Ford Motor Company executive.

5. Robin Williams Suffered From Drug Addiction During His Marriage to Valerie

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Williams struggled with cocaine addiction and alcoholism during his marriage to Valerie and he hung out a lot with John Belushi, who died of an overdose in 1982. Williams said that it was a combination of Belushi’s death and the birth of his first born that helped him quit drugs.

To join a discussion about the beloved Robin Williams – his life, his death, and more, click here to read and comment in our FORUM.

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  1. I really don´t know, what’s up with u? First this morning i stood up, make a coffee, put on the tv and heard about this tragedy; My first reaction was to cry – so hard, and now i cry again. This guy guide me trough my whole live with his films and sense of humor and theatralic. He will allways be missed, and no one can take this place in Hollywood or somewhere. And u – put dirt on him with ur bad words about him. Shame on u.

  2. He was great at making the public laugh, but these are real facts about his life. You don’t pick only the good parts.There is no slander here just public facts.

  3. Everyone has their own demons to deal with.He made us all laugh & cry with his wonderful talent.That is what we ALL need to remember of him!!!!

  4. Hey Author: You’re a terrible person. I would love for someone to broadcast the darkest parts of your life right after you kill yourself because of depression.

  5. The purpose of articles like this is to show the layers of his life. Robin Williams is the most influential comedian of our time and his fans want to know about every aspect of his life since he’s gone. All the information was public knowledge and often joked about by Williams. That’s something to remember.

    • Whenever I read “news” articles on the web, I jump right in without noting the name of the author. Halfway through, when it becomes apparent that it’s a gendersmear against a man (and subtly against men in general), I return to the top of the article and – whaddya know – written by a woman! Never am I surprised.
      What exactly do you get out of dissecting a man’s “love life” as you call it? In all seriousness, your attitude is so widespread on the gyno-web; were I to put a ratio to women writing in this manner about men to ANYONE writing about women’s personal lives, it’d likely be triple digits-to-one.

      Go ahead and write an article about some deceased woman’s sex life, and speak about that as disparagingly as you did here. You won’t. Woman never do.

      Your article is shit.
      You are shit.
      and Heavy is shit.

      • Truth is never shit. Truth is truth. You may not like the truth, it may make you angry but it is what it is. I lost all respect for Williams when he destroyed his family by doing the help. I mourn his loss in that he was a tremendous talent.Pity he couldn’t control his demons. Or his dick.

  6. Wow, this is completely disrespectful. This man suffered from depression, and committed suicide because of it. Then you write an article about all the bad things in his life. There is not one single positive note in this article. You’re a shitty author. You should be extremely embarrassed. This article is nothing but trashed.

  7. what kind of asphyxia did he die from? And how come we are not told who found him, since his wife said she saw him last at 10PMthat night?

  8. what kind of asphyxia did he die from. And who found him? How come they can’t tell us that.. His wife says she saw him last at 10pM from what I read

    • Loved the man – greatly missed – no replacement, incredibly genius and from all indications, kind and generous – BUT lets not color him saint just because he died – that would be the actual smearing of his life – he was good, he was bad, he was ugly, he was god blessed funny as heck and most of all – he was extraordinarily HUMAN -just like all of us.

  9. I don’t get into the lives of any movie stars or singers to the point that they become my mentors or role models. I find it bizarre that people get attached and enthralled with people they don’t know and who don’t know them. He was a good comedian, but he made his mistakes like we all do – he was just human. It must be an awful thing for someone to have so much to live for and yet be so dispondent and lost at the same time. Depression is an awful thing and I’m not sure that these psychotic medicines aren’t more dangerous than the disease.

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