Don’t you hate it when you tell half the world that your friend has cancer and then two days later he goes on Facebook and tells everyone that you’re full of crap? That’s pretty much what happened to actor Michael Douglas this week, and now the whole thing has gotten super awkward.
In an interview with People on Sunday, Douglas said that fellow actor Val Kilmer is battling oral cancer. The 72-year-old Douglas, who beat stage 4 oral cancer in 2013, was in London talking about working with Kilmer on the film The Ghost and the Darkness, released in 1996.
“The picture didn’t turn out as well as I hoped but I had a wonderful time. Val was a wonderful guy who is dealing with exactly what I had, and things don’t look too good for him,” he told People.
Douglas added, “My prayers are with him. That’s why you haven’t heard too much from Val lately.”
Rumors have been swirling for years about Kilmer’s health. In 2015, he was seen with what looked like a tracheostomy tube around his neck. His neck was also covered with scarves and bandanas whenever he appeared in public. At the time he downplayed rumors of health problems, denying that he had a tumor.
“Thank you all for your love and support. There’s a rumor I’m unwell again and in hospital which is totally untrue. I was in to verify I have no tumor or infection of any kind which was verified by the very caring experts at UCLA,” he wrote on Facebook at the time.
Kilmer took to Facebook on Tuesday night to again deny cancer rumors—and he sounds pretty serious about it.
“I love Michael Douglas but he is misinformed,” Kilmer wrote. “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, which prevented me from continuing a tour of my play CITIZEN TWAIN. I ended up using a team at UCLA and have no cancer whatsoever.”
While he still has a “swollen tongue,” the actor says he is rehabbing steadily and working regularly, having made three films in the last year.
He also gave a shout-out to Mary Baker Eddy, “the genius discoverer and founder of my faith, Christian Science.” He added, “Some 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.”
“Whatever led Michael Douglas to speculate about my health, he’s a loving and devoted friend to a privileged group of talent [sic] people around the world, and I’m sure he meant no harm,” Kilmer wrote. “Being healthy and having the respect of my peers and love from my family, friends, peers and fans is a DAILY source of inspiration, for which I am so grateful, you have no idea. I work VERY hard at my craft, and being appreciated since I was a little boy for being able to give this gift, has literally made my life.”
You can read Kilmer’s whole Facebook statement on the next page.
I love Michael Douglas but he is misinformed. The last time I spoke to him was almost two years ago, when I asked him…