Suzanne Somers, fresh from her debut as ShopNBC’s new home-shopping celebrity, created a storm of controversy this week over her remarks about Patrick Swayze’s pancreatic cancer treatment.
On “The View” Whoopi Goldberg, who co-starred with Swayze in the hit movie “Ghost,” skewered Somers for comments she purportedly made blaming the late actor’s chemotherapy treatment for killing him. Goldberg called Somers’ comments “in bad taste” with “bad timing,” adding “Suzanne, you should know better.”
In her blog Somers addressed the issue, saying she made some remarks about Swayze during a party and did not expect to be quoted.
Here is an edited verson of her blog about Patrick Swayze, with the full text available on her Web site:
“I was very saddened to hear that Patrick Swayze passed away last week of pancreatic cancer, the most virulent and lethal of all the cancers. My heart and deepest condolences go out to his wife, Lisa, and his family, his friends, and the millions who loved him.
In a casual conversation at a private party (with someone who never identified himself as a reporter) at the Toronto Film Festival last week, I was asked about this beloved actor. It was never my intention to make an official statement about his passing. I was not informed or aware I was being interviewed.
I would never have been so insensitive as to offer a public statement so close to his untimely passing. I sincerely apologize if my comment has caused any additional pain to his family during this difficult time. I send my deepest condolences for their loss.
Having had cancer myself, I know firsthand the pain and suffering heaped on patient and family. The fear is unbelievable and we all make the best choices we can with the information we have at hand. In Toronto, I was thinking out loud and wishing for a different outcome for this beautiful man and his devoted wife.
Patrick and his family fought courageously and with integrity right to the end. I know that every choice made in this devastating situation was made with love and care.
I was a major fan of Patrick’s work, and would never do anything to hurt him or his family.”
Somers is a pretty polarizing figure. She casts herself as a champion of women’s rights at odds with the traditional medical establishment, but doctors and others have criticized her for the advice she offers.
We don’t know if ShopNBC is happy for the Swayze/Somers’ firestorm, or not.