In an emotional interview, Garry Shandling’s former fiancée, Linda Doucett, opens up to In Touch just hours after learning the comedy legend had died of a suspected massive heart attack, about their bittersweet relationship.

“I spoke to him last week and he seemed fine,” Linda says.

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After being told how Garry had called 911 at 10:40 a.m. on March 24, only to lose consciousness before paramedics arrived to transport him to a Santa Monica hospital, Linda says, “I called Garry and it went straight to voice mail. So I went to the hospital — it all happened so quickly. I didn’t even think it was real. We’ve been through a lot together and were very close. It’s shocking.”

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Linda, a former Playboy model and actress, was the most serious romantic relationship of Garry’s life. She reveals that she and Garry had been trying to heal old wounds — dating all the way back to 1994 — in the days before his death. The problem they spent decades trying to move past was Linda’s lawsuit against him and the HBO series The Larry Sanders Show after their romance ended in 1994 and she was fired from the groundbreaking series.

Linda insists, “We were friends. We were in touch the whole time, until last week. We were working on our issues, trying to put everything behind us and move on. There are some things in life where you don’t get complete closure. But the last time we spoke, he said, ‘We’re working on closure,’ and we both laughed and said, ‘Maybe in the next life.’”

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“Our life together [was] a turbulent love story. We were great together. We had a big connection, but it’s difficult when your life becomes public. We were working on it,” she says through more tears.

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“The only reason we broke up was because I wanted a child and Garry didn’t. I was 40 and really wanted a baby and he was afraid of having a child because his brother died of an illness [cystic fibrosis] and he was always afraid that his child could have it.”

“He loved women but he did regret not having a family,” a source close to Garry reveals. “He loved his life, but that would probably be his main regret — never settling down with a wife and having children.

For the full interview, pick up the latest issue of In Touch, on newsstands now!

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