Celebrity

William Shatner Responds To Critics Over Missing Leonard Nimoy’s Funeral

“I feel really awful,” said the actor Saturday, who had charity work commitments. On Sunday, Shatner took to Twitter to defend his absence at Leonard Nimoy’s funeral.

Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, pictured on Aug. 19, 2006. Ethan Miller / Getty Images

William Shatner said Saturday that he wouldn’t be able to attend the funeral Sunday for his former Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy because of charity commitments.

“I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love,” Shatner said on Twitter.

Nimoy, famous for playing the Vulcan Mr. Spock, died Friday from end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the age of 83.

“I am so humbled by the worldwide outpouring of love that has been displayed; words cannot express my feelings,” Shatner wrote.

William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, and Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek. Hulton Archive / Getty Images

However, he wrote that he feels “awful” he won’t be able to make the funeral.

Instead, Shatner proposed fans mourn on Twitter.

So maybe tomorrow we come together here and celebrate his life.

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

So let's spend some time tomorrow celebrating Leonard's life and remembering the man.

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

Still many on Twitter expressed dismay that Shatner would miss his friend’s funeral, while New York Daily News ran the cover story “Captain Jerk! Claims night event in Florida means he can’t ‘beam up’ to L.A. in time.”

“@NYDailyNews: An early look at tomorrow's front page. http://t.co/ZDjADxLW48 ” I want to share this. Let's discuss it

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

Shatner turned to Twitter on Sunday to discuss his decision, saying he “chose to honor a commitment I made months ago.”

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.

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

He also mentioned his daughters would be attending the funeral services:

So my daughters Melanie and Lisabeth are attending Leonard's services.

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

And that there were logistical difficulties in getting to the funeral.

One of the other misconceptions seems to be that folks think flights to LAX occur all night long.

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

He then started talking with fans about Nimoy’s life, as he had suggested the day before.

I asked if you all would be interested in celebrating Leonard's life today. Why don't we reconvene at noon ET/ 9am PT and begin.

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

Leonard and I seemed to be bound by fate to be friends. We were born 4 days apart. #LeonardNimoy

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

Leonard and I seemed to be bound by fate to be friends. We were born 4 days apart. #LeonardNimoy

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

We worked together previous to Star Trek, first impressions: nice guy, a real professional, took the job/role seriously. #LeonardNimoy

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

Shatner answered questions about Nimoy:

“@nickwilli131: @WilliamShatner what was your favorite memory of Mr. Nimoy? #LeonardNimoy” Every moment I spent with him.

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

“@Craabpot: @WilliamShatner What was he like when off the set? #LeonardNimoy” Intelligent, insightful, just a precious gem of a man.

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

“@hipmum29: @WilliamShatner What charity or cause was closest to #LeonardNimoy 's heart?” Leonard supported the arts.

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

“@Chrisnova10: If Leonard could say something to all of us--right here, right now, what would he say? #LeonardNimoy” Don't smoke!

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

“@_Peccavimus: @WilliamShatner What's the best thing he's ever said to you? #LeonardNimoy” I love you.

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner)

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