Gray's Widow: 'Irish Car Crash Sparked Suicide'
The costume designer widow of actor and writer Spalding Gray has revealed her late husband lost the will to live after suffering brain damage in a car accident in Ireland.
Gray committed suicide by jumping off the Staten Island Ferry in New York in 2004, but his widow Kathleen Russo believes something died inside him years before.
She tells WENN, "The car accident in Ireland is really what led him to commit suicide, which a lot of people don't know about.
"We were in Ireland in 2001 to celebrate his 60th birthday in County Meath and it was our second night there and we were coming back from a restaurant... and someone hit us head on.
"We were on a country road and there's not really room for two cars to go by and it was just getting dark and I was driving and Spalding was behind me in the back seat and he wasn't wearing his seat belt. There were three people in the car and I was the only one wearing a seat belt.
"Spalding flew into the back of my head. I needed stitches and he crushed his skull on the right side. We didn't know about that until a couple of weeks after when his head collapsed in and I noticed a dent in his forehead. We were there for the whole summer for his surgeries.
"When we heard he needed a head operation we flew home to New York... He had right frontal lobe damage and scar tissue developed, which led to brain damage and that led him to commit suicide and jump off the Staten Island Ferry."
Gray disappeared for two months before his body was found in the East River and Russo admits the press coverage surrounding his whereabouts was particularly difficult for the family.
She adds, "The hardest thing was when he was missing for two months and people were sending me pictures and saying, 'This is him.' I knew he was not a cruel person and would never start a new life somewhere else, which is what the media was saying."