Actor Scott Baio slammed “fake news” for claiming he had maliciously suggested that his former “Happy Days” co-star, Erin Moran, died of a drug overdose.
When Moran died on April 22 at age 56, numerous press reports initially claimed she had died of a heroin overdose.
Given her well-documented history of drug addiction and alcoholism, many people weren’t surprised.
However, autopsy reports released Monday afternoon confirmed that Moran’s cause of death was complications from stage 4 cancer. Just hours earlier, Baio had commented on her past drug use to WABC Radio:
I feel bad because her whole life she was troubled, could never find what made her happy and content, you know what I mean? For me, you do drugs or drink, you’re gonna die. And I’m sorry if that’s cold, but … God gave you a brain, gave you the will to live and thrive, and you gotta take care of yourself. You just have to. I am saddened by what happened. And I don’t know if it was drugs that killed her.
When Moran’s autopsy results were revealed hours after his radio interview, angry fans bashed Scott Baio, saying he callously blamed drugs for her death.
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Baio received so much ugly backlash that he blasted the media for their “fake news” sensationalism. On Twitter, Scott said the media were smearing him because he’s a Trump supporter. In a post entitled “Here are the facts,” Baio explained:
Monday, April 24th at 6 a.m. Pacific time I did a live radio interview. I was asked ONLY about Erin’s troubled past due to drug and alcohol abuse. I was still upset and said I felt that living that kind of a lifestyle will catch up with you and nothing good would come of it. THIS WAS BEFORE THE CAUSE OF DEATH WAS ANNOUNCED STATING STAGE 4 CANCER.
Now it seems every news outlet and tabloid wants to paint a different picture of me and of what really happened. They’re stating that I’m saying drugs caused her to die after it was reported stage 4 cancer. This is so wrong! Now I truly understand the meaning of ‘Fake News’. This is crazy.”
Please stop assuming the worst in me. I’m a compassionate person. I’m very heartbroken over her passing, especially since it was cancer. I don’t see people going after or attacking every network that said it was a drug overdose. I’ve openly stated my truths. I’m done.
It’s absurd that people who never knew Erin Moran or Scott Baio are imputing negative motives to him when he was one of the people closest in the world to her at one point. Moran and Baio co-starred on “Happy Days” from 1974 to 1984. During that time, the two dated for a while. They also co-starred on its spinoff, “Joanie Loves Chachi” from 1982 to 1983.
On his 2007 reality TV series, Baio revealed that he lost his virginity to Moran when they were teenagers. Why does anyone who doesn’t personally know either Baio or Moran feel they have a right to judge him?
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On Facebook, Baio paid tribute to Moran: “May people remember Erin for her contagious smile, warm heart, and animal-loving soul. I always hoped she could find peace in her life. God has you now, Erin.”
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