As Us Weekly previously reported, Moran was found dead in her Indiana home at the age of 56 on Saturday, April 22. Authorities later revealed that she likely died of complications from stage IV cancer.
Baio, 56, appeared on The Bernie & Sid Show on Monday to discuss his former Joanie Loves Chachi costar’s death. “For me, you do drugs or drink, you’re gonna die. 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,” he said, sparking controversy on social media.
The Charles in Charge alum’s comments came shortly before officials released the likely cause of death. In his Facebook post on Monday night, he explained to fans that he had been misinformed by false news reports claiming Moran had died of a heroin overdose.
“This made me very upset and angry,” he wrote, recalling the moment he read the incorrect headlines. “This is one of my worse fears for her, or anyone else. Especially in this business. I was on an emotional roller-coaster. I hadn’t slept well since the news of her passing.”
Multiple media outlets picked up on Baio’s controversial comments after the likely cause of death was revealed. “Now it seems every news outlet & tabloid wants to paint a different picture of me and of what really happened,” he wrote on Facebook. “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.”
Despite the controversy, Baio has continued to mourn the actress. “Please stop assuming the worst in me,” he wrote. “I’m a compassionate person. I’m very heartbroken over her passing, especially since it was cancer.”