Val Kilmer Has Trouble Speaking at First Public Appearance Since Denying He Has Cancer
By Antoinette Bueno
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Val Kilmer slurred his words and struggled to speak during an event in Los Angeles on Thursday, his first public appearance since denying he has cancer earlier this month.
The 56-year-old actor presented the film version of his one-man play, Citizen Twain. Kilmer did address his health at one point, when he told the audience that he had to cancel his upcoming tour for the play because his “tongue swelled," People reports.
"I went into rehearsals down in Florida and started having trouble with my speech," he said. "Obviously, I'm still recovering. My tongue swelled up and I canceled the tour. As I'm recovering I'm showing this."
Last month, Michael Douglas claimed Kilmer is battling tongue cancer during a Q&A with Jonathan Ross at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London, England. Douglas himself is a tongue cancer survivor, but the 72-year-old actor has been cancer-free since January 2011.
"Val was a wonderful guy who is dealing with exactly what I had, and things don't look too good for him," Douglas said of his Ghost and the Darkness co-star. "My prayers are with him. That's why you haven't heard too much from Val lately."
"I love Michael Douglas but he is misinformed," Kilmer wrote in a post. "The last time I spoke to him was almost two years ago, when I asked him for a referral for a specialist to get a diagnosis for a lump in my throat."
"I ended up using a team at UCLA and have no cancer whatsoever," he continued. "I still have a swollen tongue and am rehabbing steadily."
Kilmer, an outspoken Christian Scientist, also addressed rumors about his health and religion, writing that some of his fans have "mistakenly thought my silence about my personal issues meant that somehow I wasn't being responsible to my health, because of my reliance on prayer and Love."
"Nothing could be further from the truth," he wrote. "I hope this puts to rest any further concerns about my health. ... Being healthy and having the respect of my peers and love from my family, friends and fans is a DAILY source of inspiration, for which I am so grateful, you have no idea."