The five-time world boxing champion confirmed to People magazine on Thursday that her book, titled “Fighting for My Life,” will be released sometime in 2020.
The two-time Emmy Award-winning actor died at age 52 on Feb. 3. His death was caused by heart disease, which was exacerbated by alcohol use.
The former couple’s son Julian had taken his life four years earlier in 2014 at age 24 following a lengthy battle with mental illness. According to the outlet, he was reportedly found unresponsive in the bathroom of a Long Beach, Calif. facility.
Actor Kristoff St. John, mother Maria and his wife Mia attend the 20th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on May 26, 1993, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
(Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty)
“When Kristoff lost his life, he was also neglected by the facility that he was put in,” St. John, 52, told the outlet. “He was let go while still being suicidal. Then, my mission just completely skyrocketed. And I just want the public to be aware of what’s happening.”
“A lot of people don’t know what was happening at the end of his life,” she continued. “Not just with the depression and the guilt over his son, but all the circumstances surrounding his life and the last days of his life. So much has been swept under the rug.”
St. John said Kristoff was struggling during the final days of his life.
“Everybody knew what was going on in his circle, but I feel like there was such a big attempt to cover everything up, which was not to really his benefit and he was so eager to get out the hospital and get back to work from fear of what would happen if people found out he had been hospitalized,” she explained. “He needed to stay in that hospital. And if he had stayed in that hospital as we had intended, and as our attorney had requested, he’d still be alive today.”
In this June 20, 2008, file photo Kristoff St. John accepts the award for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for his work on “The Young and the Restless” at the 35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.
St. John admitted she’s still overcome with grief. However, she’s determined to move forward and share her experience in hopes it will help someone in need.
“We’re just really struggling,” she said. “I’ve just been telling my daughter, that we have to go on, he’d want us to be happy and to celebrate together. And that’s what we have to do, even though he was always with us, even though we were divorced, we spent holidays together. It’ll be a burst. It’ll be difficult.”
Back in March of this year, Mia St. John told Fox News the final months of Kristoff’s life were “tragic” as he attempted to cope with the death of his only son. The agony only consumed him behind closed doors as he tried to put on a brave face in front of the public.
“He was very depressed and drinking a lot,” said St. John at the time. “He could not cope with the guilt that he had of our son’s death. He felt very responsible because our son had schizophrenia and Kristoff was bipolar.
“I know he tried desperately to understand mental illness for our son’s sake but he was very frustrated. … I saw the signs in my son so I was better equipped for it. Kristoff didn’t know much about it, which is why he didn’t handle his son’s illness very well. So he blamed himself for his death. Of course, we told him every day it was not his fault. But he just couldn’t live with it.”
St. John described Kristoff as “an amazing father” and “lovable” to Julian, also as the disciplinarian of the family, while she “really coddled” her child who was her firstborn.
“Kristoff was at times very hard on Julian,” claimed St. John. “He wanted him to grow up, be a man and be tough. I was more like … he’s a mama’s boy. And I think that was one of the things he felt very guilty over. He felt like he was too hard on him. But it’s hard. We’re not given a manual when our kids are born like, this is the right way to raise them. We just don’t know. It’s trial and error.”
St. John said that since Kristoff’s death she “lost” her 30 years of sobriety because she just couldn’t cope with the horrifying tragedies. Still, she came forward with her story in hopes it will inspire others to speak up and seek help.
“I stayed sober after my son passed,” St. John explained. “I don’t know how I did that, but I did it. But when I lost Kristoff, it just became too much. I did end up losing my sobriety. And the reason why I came out with that is that I felt so embarrassed … I wanted to come out on my own, be humble and say ‘I’m human.’ I was vulnerable and I made a mistake. But I’m going to pick myself up and be an example, the example I want to be. I wanted to show people you have nothing to be ashamed about.”
“We all suffer from something at one point,” she continued. “I just want people to talk about it. And if I couldn’t talk about my own problems, then how can I expect anyone else to?”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).