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Leonard Nimoy’s Son Says He Knows the Reason Behind Feud With ‘Star Trek’ Costar William Shatner

Adam Nimoy, the son of the late Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy, knows the real reason behind his father and costar William Shatner’s storied feud — but he isn’t giving any secrets away.

“I know why,” Adam told Page Six on Sunday, June 2. However, he added that he’s going to “let sleeping dogs lie” when it comes to the subject. (Nimoy passed away in 2015 at the age of 83.)

“It’s unfortunate, it’s sad,” he said, calling his father’s relationship with Shatner, 93, who played Captain Kirk in Star Trek: The Original Series opposite Leonard’s Spock, “very challenging.” However, Adam confessed that there was a point in time when the two men “were really beautiful together.” (Star Trek’s original run aired for three seasons between 1966 and 1969.)

Adam recalled that growing up he and his sister Julie Nimoy would hear stories of Leonard and Shatner clashing with each other on set. It was for this reason that the siblings were shocked when Leonard referred to Shatner in his memoir as his “best friend.”

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“Julie and I were scratching our heads like … you’ve knocked heads with Bill, all your professional life,” Adam said. “And now they had some reconciliation and it was beautiful, but it just didn’t, they just couldn’t sustain it. And that’s unfortunate.”

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy
(Photo by Bret Lundberg/Images Press/Getty Images)

Adam knows a thing or two about strained relationships with Leonard. Nimoy’s son has written an entire book about his relationship with his estranged father and how they were able to reconcile before the actor’s death in 2015. The Most Human: Reconciling with My Father is out this month via Chicago Review Press.

Shatner pleads ignorance of the reason behind his and Leonard’s feud. However, he revealed in his 2016 book, Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man, that Leonard had stopped talking to Shatner entirely in the last five years of his life.

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“I thought he was joking at first and treated it as a joke because he sometimes would pretend and say, ‘No, I’m not going to do that’ and then say, ‘Yes,’ so that’s what I thought he did,” Shatner told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. “But that time he really meant, no. … I just don’t know, and it is sad and it is permanent. I don’t know why he stopped talking to me.”

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Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)

When asked about the battle of egos between himself and Leonard on the Star Trek set, Shatner told THR, “Nothing is ever one person’s fault — one hand clapping doesn’t make a sound.”

Leonard was not the only Star Trek alum who had problems with Shatner. George Takei, who played Lieutenant Sulu on that original run called Shatner a “cantankerous old man” as recently as November 2022 in an interview with People. In the same interview, Takei, 85, described Shatner as “self-involved” and said he “enjoyed being the center of attention” on the Star Trek set.

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