“Seinfeld” star Michael Richards still doesn’t expect forgiveness for racist rant: ‘I’m not looking for a comeback’

The actor, who won three Emmys as Cosmo Kramer before cratering his career with an infamous 2006 meltdown, tells his story in upcoming memoir, "Entrances and Exits."

It's been almost two decades since Michael Richards' career fell off a cliff. The comedic actor won three Emmys for his portrayal of fan-favorite character Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld, but he's barely been seen on screen since he was caught on video in 2006 unleashing a racist, slur-filled rant at hecklers during a stand-up set at the Laugh Factory.

Related: See reclusive Michael Richards reunite with Jerry Seinfeld on first red carpet in 9 years

In his new memoir, Entrances and Exits, Richards opens up about the incident and his journey since. However, he's emphasizing that the book isn't an attempt at a career resurgence, but rather a way to share his perspective. "I'm not looking for a comeback," he said in a new interview with PEOPLE.

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<p>Maria McCarty/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty </p> Michael Richards

Maria McCarty/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Michael Richards

Reflecting on the moment, Richards recalled feeling instant regret during his Laugh Factory rant. "I was immediately sorry the moment I said it on stage," he told the outlet.

He continued, "My anger was all over the place, and it came through hard and fast. Anger is quite a force. But it happened. Rather than run from it, I dove into the deep end and tried to learn from it. It hasn’t been easy."

Richards said his crisis managers wanted him to do damage control. "But as far as I was concerned," he told PEOPLE, "the damage was inside of me."

But the 74-year-old actor wanted to make something clear: "I'm not racist," he said, referring to the fateful night that quickly tarnished his reputation. "I have nothing against Black people. The man who told me I wasn’t funny had just said what I’d been saying to myself for a while. I felt put down. I wanted to put him down."

Since that moment, Richards said, he has embarked upon a 17-year journey of "deep analysis" to find out "where all the anger was coming from." He added that some of that ire stemmed from his own insecurities. Richards learned that his mother, who single-handedly raised him, originally wanted an abortion but at the time the procedure was illegal.

As a result, “Somehow I couldn’t connect to the joy of being an artist," he said, referring to his time as Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld. "I was a good character actor, but I was comfortable being the character, not in being me.”

Unresolved anxieties also prompted Richards to pass on other opportunities, which included a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame because, he said, "I didn’t feel deserving,” and two offers to host Saturday Night Live because "I didn’t feel good enough."

"I was never really satisfied with my Seinfeld performance," he admitted to PEOPLE. "Fame magnified my insecurities.”

Richards has continued "learning and healing, healing and learning," he said. "But life is always an up and a down. I continue to work through the day and the night, the light and the dark that I am."  

Related: ''Seinfeld'': The best-paid cast in TV history

Entrances and Exits by Michael Richards
Entrances and Exits by Michael Richards

Richards will open up more about his life and career in his new memoir, Entrances and Exits, out June 4.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.