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ROBIN WILLIAMS was suffering from Parkinson's disease when he died earlier this week.


His wife Susan issued a statement saying, quote, "Robin's sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson's Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.


"It is our hope in the wake of Robin's tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid."


Parkinson's is a progressive disorder of the nervous system.  MICHAEL J. FOX was diagnosed with it in 1991.


After he heard yesterday's news, Fox Tweeted, quote, "Stunned to learn Robin had PD.  Pretty sure his support for our [charitable foundation] predated his diagnosis.  A true friend;  I wish him peace."


Meanwhile, Robin's rep is denying sleazy tabloid reports that he was pushed to the brink by money troubles.  She says, quote, "Robin had no financial problems.  We should be blessed to have Robin's financial status."


"I understand the desire to understand the 'Why.'  It's not going to happen.  The better thing to do is to try to understand severe depression.  That isn't going to be answered, and you can speculate all you want."


Robin did say in an interview last year that he was selling his Napa Valley estate because he was downsizing his life and couldn't afford it anymore.  And it IS on the market, for $29.9 million.  


But as far as his claim that he joined the cast of the TV show "The Crazy Ones" for the paycheck, the rep says, quote, "Robin often said things in jest, and sometimes it just doesn't translate in print."