The Conners star Michael Fishman has broken his silence about his son Larry's fatal overdose in June. Fishman discussed the death of his youngest son in a candid interview with Tamron Hall on Wednesday, October 28.
"It wasn't so much a struggle with substance abuse for him," the 39-year-old explained on the Tamron Hall Show. "He 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 from."
Fishman said, "I feel like I came to Larry, maybe later than I wish I could have. And I think for parents, you know, you wish you had more time. You don't always get the time that you want."
The actor chose to address his son's tragic death in order to help others who may also be struggling with the grief of losing a child. "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 of years ago, I probably would have never shared this, to be honest with you," he confessed. "But if it can — if one other person can relate. If it can help you talk to your kids in some way..."
The Roseanne actor continued: "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."
Fishman welcomed Larry — who was about to age out of foster care — into his family after first meeting his sister, Camille. "I think he chose me, to be fair," Fishman said of their instant father-son connection. "I have two biological children from a previous marriage, and at the end of that marriage I met his older sister, Camille, who a friend of mine kind of said, 'She needs some support and guidance.'" Larry died while Fishman was in the process of officially adopting him.
"We became a family unit," Fishman noted of Camille, Larry, and his biological children, Isabelle and Aaron — whom he shares with ex-wife Jennifer Briner, 39.
While this is the first time Fishman spoke about his son's accidental overdose, he paid tribute to Larry on National Son's Day last month. "Always in my heart," Fishman captioned the family photo.
He also took to Instagram in mid-June to celebrate Father's Day. "#kids are a #gift that teach us, that #inspire us, and #humble us. Your #heart will open in new ways, #love becomes more powerful than any words. Every moment spent together is irreplaceable," Fishman continued. "I love my kids! My oldest is my #humor my older son my #guide my younger #son #truth and my youngest, she is my rock, my #motivation and my reminder to be better each day."