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Michael Richards, Kramer on ‘Seinfeld,’ reflects on racism scandal

Michael Richards, who played Cosmo Kramer for nine seasons of “Seinfeld,” apologizes for the racist slur incident that ended his career nearly 20 years ago. But he doesn’t expect a comeback.

Richards, 74, spoke about the 2006 incident in an interview with People magazine published Wednesday ahead of the release of his memoir, “Entrances and Exits.”

“I regretted it as soon as I said it on stage,” Richards said. “My anger was everywhere and it came through hard and fast. Anger is quite a force. But it happened. Instead of running away from it, I jumped in the deep end and tried to learn from it. It wasn’t easy.”

He added: “The crisis managers wanted me to do damage control. But in my view, the damage was within me.”

During a stand-up show at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood in November 2006, Richards went on a tirade and hurled racist insults at several hecklers, who were reportedly black.

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“I’m not racist,” he told People. “I have nothing against black people. The man who told me I wasn’t funny had just said what I’ve been telling myself for some time. I felt humiliated. I wanted to humiliate him.”

During his co-star Jerry Seinfeld’s interview on the “Late Show with David Letterman” a few days after the incident, Richards appeared via satellite.

“I’m really devastated and I feel very, very sorry for the people in the audience,” he told Letterman at the time. “I’m deeply sorry for me freaking out in a comedy club and saying this crap.”

Richards, who played Seinfeld’s over-the-top neighbor alongside Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, won three Primetime Emmys for his role during the series’ run from 1989 to 1998.

Related:Michael Richards talks about his private battle with prostate cancer in 2018

“I was a good character actor, but I was comfortable in the role, not in my role as myself,” he told People, adding that he was “learning and healing. Healing and learning.”

After the incident in 2006, Richards appeared in several episodes of “Drop It, Larry!” and “Kirstie.” But the father of two spent most of his time reading and studying religion and philosophy.

Michael Richards (right) and Jerry Seinfeld attend the premiere of

Spoiler!How Jerry Seinfeld pulled off the “fantastic” TV reunion for “Unfrosted”

On April 30, Richards made a rare public appearance at the Los Angeles premiere of his pal Seinfeld’s Netflix film “Unfrosted.” His longtime friend also wrote the foreword for his memoir, which will be released June 4.

“This book is a hymn to the irrational, the senseless mind that tears the whole to pieces, a reflection on the seemingly absurd difficulties that beset us all,” says the book’s blurb. “We are constantly surrounded by excitement and turmoil. That is the basis of comedy. It is the falls that we all take.”

“It’s the inevitable mistake we didn’t expect. It’s everywhere I go. It’s in the way I am, both light and dark, good and not so good. It’s my life.”

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