William Shatner Defends His Absence From Leonard Nimoy’s Funeral

by Meredith B. Kile 6:36 PM PST, March 02, 2015
Playing William Shatner Defends His Absence From Leonard Nimoy’s Funeral

None of Leonard Nimoy's Star Trek co-stars attended the actor’s funeral this past weekend, but only one absence is causing a major public outcry.

NEWS: Leonard Nimoy, Spock of 'Star Trek,' Dead at 83

After eulogizing his friend and co-star on social media Friday, William Shatner chose to attend a prior commitment, a charity event for the Red Cross in Palm Beach, Fla., rather than attending Nimoy’s funeral in Los Angeles on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. Shatner was seen landing at LAX just a few hours later.

"I did my best, but chose to be with the Red Cross," Shatner explained. "The living mourn the dead, celebrating the living while trying to do good deeds."

Critics cite a long-running feud or jealousy between the two Star Trek stars as the reason for Shatner’s absence, but radio host and America's Got Talent judge Howard Stern was unconvinced.

"Look, William Shatner is an 83-year-old man, he's in Palm Beach," Stern said. "It doesn't mean he doesn't love his friend. I'm of the belief that a funeral, while important, isn't the measure of a relationship between two people."

WATCH: Leonard Nimoy in His Own Words: How Spock Changed Me

The actor, who was dubbed "Captain Jerk" by the New York Daily News, also took to Twitter to defend his decision and let fans know that his daughters, Melanie and Lisabeth attended the services in his stead.

"I chose to honor a commitment I made months ago to appear at a charitable fundraiser," Shatner tweeted. "A lot of money was raised. So here I am; tell me off."

WATCH: Remembering Leonard Nimoy: President Obama and Celebs React to the 'Star Trek' Star's Death

See how Shatner, President Obama, and other celebs memorialized Nimoy in the video below.