'The Conners' star Michael Fishman breaks silence on son's overdose

The star lost his son Larry to an overdose in June

The Conners” actor Michael Fishman opened up for the first time about the death of his adoptive son.

The 39-year-old actor shares two biological children, daughter Isabelle and son Aaron, with ex-wife Jennifer Briner. He also took a young girl named Camille into his household around the time his marriage was ending in 2018. 

Speaking on the “Tamron Hall Show,” Fishman explained that he was in the process of adopting Camille and her brother, Larry, when he tragically died of a drug overdose in June, according to People

Breaking his silence on the tragedy, Fishman explained that the family was shocked by the news, noting that Larry didn’t exactly have a drug problem prior to his overdose. 

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“It wasn’t so much a struggle for him, you know, people try things over time,” he explained. “That wasn’t really an issue overall. 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 to.” 

Michael Fishman, who plays D.J. Conner on "The Conners," opened up about the loss of his son due to an overdose.

Michael Fishman, who plays D.J. Conner on "The Conners," opened up about the loss of his son due to an overdose. (Troy Harvey/ABC via Getty Images)

The actor admitted that he likely wouldn’t have publicly discussed the loss but came to the realization that his story may help open a dialogue between families that may be going through the same kind of thing. 

“In my case, I feel like I came to Larry maybe later than I wish I could,” he said. “I think for parents you know, you wish that you had more time and you don’t always get the time that you want. So, 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 concluded: “A couple of years ago I probably would have never shared this, to be honest with you, but if it can… if one other person can relate, if it can help you talk to your kids in some way, if it opens up a dialogue where you just listen, because I think the trauma that lies underneath… the really important part is that you’re brave enough to admit when you struggle or that you need help or that you aren’t strong. With COVID-19 and all the changes in this world, people are struggling.”

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Fishman has been thinking about the coronavirus pandemic a lot lately thanks to the return of the ABC sitcom “The Conners,” which is seeing the family tackle the pandemic in their own way. 

"'The Connors' is such a relevant show with what's going on in the world," he told Fox News in a recent interview. "You'll see, especially at the very beginning of [the season], how the characters in the house are dealing with the way [coronavirus] makes them feel and the impact it's having on their lives. I think people will relate." 

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He added: "I think working on a comedy, it provides you the greatest opportunity to explore these topics because real life is all about dealing with tough situations and finding the humor. And humor is a tension release. I think it's a very human thing that we find joy in creativity and art in spite of what may be going on around us. I also think that's how families heal and come together."