Scott Baio on the Defensive After Remarks About Erin Moran's Death: 'I Jumped the Gun, Okay?'

He had criticized the actress for her drug use before learning that she actually died of cancer.

Scott Baio is defending himself today over remarks he made about the death of former co-star Erin Moran.

Speaking on a New York radio show on Monday morning, Baio, who believed his former Joanie Loves Chachi co-star died of a heroin overdose based on published reports, criticized the actress. 

Read: The Tragic Fall From Grace in Erin Moran's Final Years

“You do drugs or drink, you're going to die," he said on The Bernie and Sid Show. "I'm sorry if that's cold, but God gave you a brain."

What Baio didn't know at the time was that Moran had actually died of stage 4 throat cancer.

“I jumped the gun," he told Inside Edition Tuesday. "I should have known better, but I went with the information that I had."

He said that he assumed the heroin overdose reports were true because "of all the stories about Erin and that's what I went with.”

“I feel horrible for her,” he added. "I feel horrible for her family."

Despite his attempt to distance himself from the remarks, Baio was savaged on social media.

"So sad Scott Baio outlived Erin Moran," read one tweet. 

Another said: "If Scott Baio wasn't such a hasbeen, he might have been able to help his former co-star." 

Baio claims that the Twitter onslaught stems from his public support for President Trump.

“If I was a liberal Hollywood person I would have gotten a complete pass,” he told Inside Edition. “Because I am a conservative and a pro-Trump guy, they don’t let anything slide with me.

"I should die instead of her? I jumped the gun ok? Am I a horrible human being?”

Moran’s final days were spent in an Indiana trailer park after leaving California in 2010, when her home was foreclosed.

Baio's eyes filled with tears as he spoke about Moran's widely reported struggles with drugs over the years.

Read: Erin Moran's 'Happy Days' Co-Stars Mourn Her Death: 'Such Sad Sad News'

"When I heard that it was heroin I got so angry because I don't want that happening to my kid," he told Inside Edition. "And that's where that came from because I am tired of hearing about it I am tired of this. I am tired of hearing about drugs and death! I've had it. That's when it hit me hard."

Baio said he still has warm feelings about his former co-star, who was also his first girlfriend, saying: “I just wish she could have found whatever that was that she needed to give her some contentment. I don't think she ever found that.”

Watch: Eddie Murphy Mourns Loss of Older Brother: 'Charlie Filled Our Family With Love and Laughter'