Howard Stern cries when he remembers how he treated the late Robin Williams.

Howard Stern

Howard Stern

The 65-year-old DJ was a huge fan of the 'Mrs. Doubtfire' actor - who tragically took his own life in 2014 - but when he was a guest on his controversial radio show in the 1990s, he chose to focus on rumours of infidelity instead of celebrating "an amazing talent".

And Howard will always regret being driven by ratings through being shocking at the expense of conducting a friendly and compassionate interview.

He said: "In my mind, I knew all the answers. The audience won't sit still for anything that's more than 30 seconds long.

"All they want is to be shocked and outraged. That's where I was at in my life.

"I also have a regret about Robin Williams that haunts me. I was so angry at the world. I love Robin Williams, and yet if he came into my studio, I had to act like I didn't love him. I'd be, 'F**k you.'

"Rather than say to Robin Williams, 'My God, you're here,' and celebrate an amazing talent and the beauty of that guy's career, he walks in and I start in, 'Hey, you're f**king your nanny.'

"Bam, sledgehammer. Sock him right in the f**king head. A**hole. Me, not him. And my audience is cheering me on because who does that?

"I was a baby. I want every listener. I want everyone focused on me. You're not going to be funnier than me. You're not going to come into my studio and steal the moment from me. This is who I was.

"I could've expressed to him the beauty of Robin Williams. Who knows what he would have revealed? Who knows what impressions he would have broken into? It brings me to tears to imagine what that moment could have been like."

Howard admitted he was such a fan of the 'Aladdin' star, he was the "whole reason" behind his career.

He added to Rolling Stone magazine: "Some people in my audience would say, 'Man, you don't kiss anyone's a**.' It ain't about kissing anyone's a**. It's about 'S**t, I love this guy.'

"I want to tell him what he did for me when I was lonely and couldn't find a friend. If I saw him in a movie or even Mork & Mindy, he just brought some goddamn pleasure into my life, which is the whole reason I got into radio."

The former 'America's Got Talent' judge began taking steps to apologise for his past conduct but tragically, Robin took his own life before they could speak.

Howard said: "I had this idea that I gotta call him and apologize. I started to put it in process and see if he would take my call, but he killed himself. I get chills when I tell you."