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’

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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