William Shatner Defends Missing Leonard Nimoy Funeral, Pays Tribute On Twitter
William Shatner took to Twitter on Sunday to further explain why he’s missing Leonard Nimoy’s funeral, and to pay an extended tribute to his late Star Trek co-star.
As Gossip Cop reported, Shatner announced that he would not be able to attend Nimoy’s funeral proceedings Sunday due to a previously scheduled Red Cross charity event in Florida on Saturday night that was preventing him from getting a flight back in time. Shatner said he felt “awful,” and he was made to feel worse when the New York Daily News called him “Captain Jerk” on the cover of its Sunday newspaper. See photo below.
Upon seeing the cover, and some other negative comments online about his absence from the funeral, Shatner tweeted, “I chose to honor a commitment I made months ago to appear at a charitable fundraiser. A lot of money was raised. So here I am; tell me off.” When a radio deejay suggested Shatner charter “a private jet” to get to Los Angeles in time, the veteran actor replied, “I must have missed your email about underwriting the arrangement and payment for this.”
Shatner, who said his two daughters would be at the funeral in his place, and noted, “One of the other misconceptions seems to be that folks think flights to LAX occur all night long.” When someone else suggested that the Red Cross would’ve understood Shatner canceling, he wrote back, “Walking out on a major fundraiser wouldn’t have you calling me a jerk for leaving a charity high & dry? Hmm?” One supporter noted that Nimoy was the kind of guy who actually would’ve preferred Shatner honor his charity commitment.
A short time after responding to the flak, Shatner began using the “#LeonardNimoy” hashtag to eulogize his friend. He began, “Leonard and I seemed to be bound by fate to be friends. We were born 4 days apart. He was tall, lanky and sometimes a bit too serious. We worked together previous to Star Trek, first impressions: nice guy, a real professional, took the job/role seriously.”
Off set, Nimoy was “intelligent, insightful, just a precious gem of a man,” said Shatner, sharing, “He took the role of Spock very seriously and I would try and get him to crack a smile while in his persona. It was hard to do.” Through that, he says, “I learned to be more serious [and] I think he learned to be less.” Taking questions from fans, Shatner was asked if he had any regrets about the friendship. “That it couldn’t have lasted a lot longer,” he replied.
Check out Shatner’s @WilliamShatner Twitter feed for his full thoughts, and see the Daily News cover below. What do you think of Shatner’s comments?