A statement from the family of comic
Richard Jeni and obtained by TV's
Extra seeks to put to rest any assumptions as to the cause of the comedian's recent death, saying, "Pending the results of an autopsy, Richard Jeni did take his own life."
Aware that rumors have been circulating as to the catalyst for this tragic turn, Jeni's family dismisses talk that professional woes played a role. "In fact, he had just enjoyed one of his most financially rewarding years to date," says the statement. "The past few years had been more prolific than ever."
What, then, led Jeni to end things? "The truth is, earlier this year [he] was diagnosed with severe clinical depression, coupled with bouts of psychotic paranoia," his family shares. "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. Perhaps Richard's passing will encourage people to have sympathy... for those who are afflicted with mental illness. As we are all trying to make sense of this, remember the joy and laughter Richard brought to the countless people he touched during his much-too-short life."