In an interview with the New York Times, Stern, 64, revealed that he was to blame for his severed relationship with Lange.
"What’s happening with Artie makes me very sad. We’ve lost touch, and that’s my doing," Stern admitted. "I got my fingers crossed for the guy. And it wasn’t a clean break."
Stern explained how he tried to get the 51-year-old funnyman clean, but didn't succeed.
"It was many years of wanting Artie to get help. I know that a lot of fans want me to talk about Artie and feel it’s a cop-out for me not to. I’ll take that. I don’t want to do anything that would rock his boat."
"I get sad talking about Artie. He was a tremendous contributor. But we had to move on."
As Radar readers know, Lange ended his nearly 10-year stint on the show after several failed rehab attempts and a DUI charge.
A source previously told Radar that Stern was hurt by the way things turned out.
"When Artie left, Howard kind of felt betrayed in a sense,” the insider told Radar. “Like Artie had all of these opportunities and all of these chances, but he let his addiction get to him.”
“He ruined every chance he got,” the insider added. “Artie was digging his own grave, and Howard just couldn’t watch it happen anymore. He had no choice but to let him go.”
Lange is currently completing a six-month drug court ordered program after failing his probation by testing positive for cocaine.