Robin Williams’ grieving widow, Susan Schneider, has been carrying a secret heartache for years – she has sensationally revealed that she once belonged to a wacky New Age “cult” that left her feeling “trapped and despondent!” 

In explosive court documents obtained exclusively by The ENQUIRER, Susan, 50, claimed the “cult” drained almost $200,000 from her and then-husband Richard Armusewicz before she bravely fled.

She also alleged “cult” members were forced to supply a leader with the prescription painkiller Vicodin! Susan made the shocking charges when she slapped Armusewicz with divorce papers in 2001, and the legal docs reveal allegations from her ex that the mother-of-two was “suicidal” and considered seriously hurting herself, apparently to escape the “cult’s” horrors.

“I have concern that she (Susan) has stated on two occasions very recently that she could seriously hurt herself or hurt somebody else,” Armusewicz wrote on April 11, 2011 in documents uncovered by The ENQUIRER.

According to the lawsuit, the couple lived in Novato, Calif., during their nearly 10-year marriage, and Susan called their home a “hub” for “cult activities.”

“I quit the ‘Cult’ that Respondent and I belonged to, as I had believed for some time that the ‘Cult’ was dangerous to my family and financially draining,” Susan wrote, in a legal declaration.

Susan characterized the “cult” as a “Channeling Group,” explaining: “A person who calls himself or herself a ‘channeler’ supposedly is a voice vehicle, speaking for an entity or person who lived centuries ago but is called upon to give modern day advice.

“The members of the ‘Cult’ discuss all major life decisions with the two leaders, a husband and wife team,” she described. “They are supposedly ‘clean and sober’ members of Alcoholics Anonymous. However the husband frequently uses Vicodin,” claimed Susan.

Susan fled the family home in March 2001. She declared, “Since I have left the ‘Cult,’ I feel as if the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders… I am no longer feeling trapped and despondent.”

In his response, her ex-husband’s response claimed: “I question whether she is actually stable. She was suicidal just in the last 4 months.”

The couple divorced in 2002, and Susan – a successful painter and graphic artist – married Robin in 2011. The beloved star committed suicide Aug. 11.

A source said: “Susan’s marriage prior to Robin was a living hell! She felt depressed living under the yolk of that kooky ‘cult.’ She almost lost her mind – and her life!”


• If someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, speak with a counselor at a national Suicide Prevention Lifeline crisis center. Please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).