Burt Reynolds was being honored at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, when he suddenly broke down into tears. The topic? His good friend, Star Trek star Leonard Nimoy, who passed away on February 27th of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
As you’ll see in the video above from Inside Edition, it’s an incredibly touching moment, but the end of his statement has caused a stir in Hollywood.
“I just want to say something,” the iconic movie star begins. “I talked to Leonardy Nimoy the night before he passed away. We were … two hours on the phone, talking about everything. He was a wonderful, wonderful and I loved him very much. We are going to miss him a hell-of-a-lot more than the other guy.”
Most people are assuming that “the other guy” is referring to Nimoy’s Trek co-star, William Shatner. The former Captain Kirk who missed Nimoy’s funeral and came under a flood of criticism as a result. The New York Daily News even went so far as to post a headline calling him “Captain Jerk.”
Shatner was attending a charity event, the 58th annual Red Cross Ball in Palm Beach, Florida, and defended his absence on Twitter: “I feel really awful. Here I am doing charity work and one of my dearest friends is being buried.”
Upon returning to Los Angeles a couple hours after Nimoy’s funeral, Shatner found himself faced by paparazzi. To them, he stated: “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.” Inside Edition caught up with the 83-year-old star to get his side of the story. That video is below.