July 13, 1959 - August 9, 1999
Extra info provided by Frank O'Neill (
thanks Frank )
A HUGE debt of gratitude goes out to Friend of Findadeath.com Steve
Goldstein, for supplying the photo's included in this story. The photographs are
fantastic. Thank you SO much, Steve. Here is a link to Steve's own website
Nerine and William had met in 1994, on the set of Kung Fu - The Legend
Continues. Tell me it wasn't doomed from the start. They were married in
November of 1997, with Leonard Nimoy as best man. Their wedding was postponed
because Nerine had been busted for drunk driving.
It sounds like their marriage was turbulent, at best. A month before their
first anniversary, William filed for divorce, and asked the judge not to award
alimony. After that, Nerine checked into the Betty Ford Clinic. She didn't
respond to the lawsuit - and it went no further. They had reconciled in recent
Alcohol continued to plague the relationship.
On May 31st, Nerine checked in to detox
St. John's Health Center, in Santa Monica.
She was in
room 482. It sounds like she had been on a marathon drinking session over
Memorial Day. Shatner gave her an ultimatum. Give it up, or give us up.
He allegedly demanded a divorce from his troubled wife, the night before she
The story I've managed to glean from the papers is that Shatner arrived at
their Studio City home around 10:15 p.m. on Monday, August 9th, 1999.
He and his wife lived on Berry
Drive, at number 3674.
He found Nerine naked and motionless at the bottom of their
He freaks, and calls 911. Here's the transcript:
"Oh my God!" Shatner yells to the dispatcher.
"What's your problem there, sir?" the dispatcher replies.
Shatner: "My wife's at the bottom of the pool!"
Dispatcher: "OK, did you get her out of the pool yet, sir?"
Shatner: "No, not yet."
Dispatcher: "I want you to take her out of the pool right now."
Shatner: "She's at the very deep end! --(He mumbles something
unintelligible.)" (My wig?)
Dispatcher: "Ok sir. If you can, grab something and get her out of the
pool. Sir. Sir. Right away, get your wife out of the pool."
Dispatcher: "Don't hang up the phone. (Shatner hangs up.) Hello?"
Shatner later reported to the police that he jumped into the sky blue mosaic
tiled pool, and pulled his wife up on the deck, but was unable to revive her. He
was criticized later for not immediately getting her out of the pool, but
calling 911 instead. Since he hosted the popular television show Rescue
911 for many years, people expected more from him. My guess is that he
was paid to read a script in front of a camera - he didn't need to pay attention
to what the show was about. That's my guess.
At 10:30 PM, paramedics arrived at
They found Mrs. Shatner on the side of the
pool. They attempted to resuscitate her, but were unsuccessful. She was 40 years
Friends and relatives were shocked, especially because Nerine was a strong
The next day, Shatner held a press conference in his
"My beautiful wife is dead. She meant everything to me. Her laughter, her
tears and her joy will remain with me the rest of my life."
Wanna see their mailbox?
An autopsy was performed on Wednesday. There were no signs of trauma to her
body and no evidence that her death was a suicide or foul play. Stay tuned for
any further developments.
A very weird aside story - at about 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning, a reporter
from The Star, a tabloid newspaper, was nosing around the property. He tried to
get an interview with police at the scene, and they weren't cooperating. He gets
in a hissy, and STABS a policeman with a ballpoint pen TWICE in his right hand.
Very bizarre. The reporter was arrested - but released on bail. He was charged
with one count of battery on a police officer causing injury, a felony that
carries a maximum three-year prison sentence.
Private services for Nerine were held on Saturday the 14th of
August. I have no details of the service, except that in lieu of flowers - the
family requested that donations be sent to the Nerine Shatner Memorial Fund, The
Friendly House, 347 S. Normandie Ave, LA, CA, 90020. I guess The Friendly House
was one of her dry out spots.
Update: Sept. 99 - thanks to Findadeath.com
friend Chuck K. for letting me know that Nerine's funeral was at the Church of
the Hills at Forest Lawn Cemetery, in LA. 120 persons, including Leonard Nimoy,
who comforted a sobbing William Shatner, attended the hour-long service. After
the service, about 50 guests went back to the Shatner house for punch and a dip
in the dead pool. Yes.
Update: Nov. 99 - Findadeath.com pal Frank O'Neill
emailed me with this info, that should wrap it all up. "Los Angeles
Coroner spokesperson Scott Carrier announced that the immediate cause of death
was "attributed to drowning associated with neck trauma." The
trauma came as a result of Mrs. Shatner either "diving or falling into the
pool." "Given the fact that she was home alone (and
wasted), and there were guard dogs present and her
husband's whereabouts are accounted for, we are ruling out foul
Thanks for the update, Frank. Cheers!
Trivia: There are two Doberman guard dogs on the property. Look closely -
is a photo that Steve took of one of them.
More Trivia: Just coz I have it, here's a pic of
garage, and rear gate of the home. Thanks again,
UPDATE February 2005, from Findadeath friend
I was at the Betty Ford Center with
Nerine, and spent some time with her. What a lovely person.
the last of October, thru the middle of November, 1998. William Shatner
visited with her each Sunday for luncheons, and then they would spend time
talking and walking the grounds.
I later saw Nerine at several AA meetings in Los Angeles.
Thank you for including her.