On Twitter, William Shatner defends missing Leonard Nimoy's funeral

On Twitter, William Shatner defends missing Leonard Nimoy's funeral
William Shatner, shown in 2012, attended a Red Cross charity event in Florida on Saturday evening. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

William Shatner took to Twitter over the weekend to fend off criticism over his absence from Leonard Nimoy's funeral.

As the "Star Trek" actor explained, he was in Florida for a previous commitment at a Red Cross charity event Saturday and could not make it back to California in time for the service of one his "dearest friends," which took place at an undisclosed location Sunday morning.

Shatner's no-show sparked criticism in some quarters, including a front-page headline on the New York Daily News, which dubbed him "Captain Jerk." Talk radio host Todd Schnitt also wondered why Shatner didn't simply hire a private jet to fly him back to the West Coast for Sunday morning.

Shatner, also a pitchman for the travel website Priceline, had a rebuttal for that:

In lieu of attending the service, Shatner held a sort of virtual wake for the late actor on Twitter, where he has more than 2 million followers. He fielded questions from fans about Nimoy and shared memories of the "tall, lanky and sometimes a bit too serious" man who played the cerebral Mr. Spock.

Shatner ended the day by live-tweeting ABC's fantasy drama "Once Upon a Time," an activity he described as a "good escape" after what was certainly a long weekend.

He could at least take comfort knowing he wasn't the only one who couldn't make it on Sunday: Protesters with the Westboro Baptist Church, were also unable to locate the funeral, though it's unlikely they were missed.

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