July 13, 1959 – August 9, 1999
Extra info provided by Frank O’Neill ( thanks Frank )
Nerine Shatner, 40, wife of William Shatner (“Kirk” Star Trek) was found at the bottom of the couple’s swimming pool by her husband on August 9 of this year.
The Los Angeles Coroner’s Office has just released her autopsy report. Shatner, who found his wife at the time of her death, called 911 and pulled his wife from the pool but attempts to revive her were unsuccessful.
Accidental drowning is the official cause of death listed in the Coroner’s report. Speaking in an interview with STAR TREK: CONTINUUM, Scott Carrier, Spokesman for the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office said, “The immediate cause of death is attributed to drowning associated with neck trauma.” The trauma came as a result of Mrs. Shatner either “diving or falling into the pool.”
Investigators ruled out foul play early on. “Given the fact that she was home alone, there were guard dogs present and her husband’s whereabouts are accounted for ruling out (foul play),” said Carrier.
Mrs. Shatner, who had struggled with alcohol in the past, was legally intoxicated with a blood-alcohol level of .27, and Valium was also discovered in her system.
Shatner has set up a memorial fund for his late wife benefiting the Friendly House in Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization that helps women combat drug and alcohol addiction. Donations to the Friendly House can by made by contacting Peggy Albrecht or Robbie Bunker at (213) 398-9964.
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 “Beneath Los Angeles.”
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 months.
Alcohol continued to plague the relationship.
On May 31st, Nerine checked in to detox at 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 drowned.
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 swimming pool.
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 the house.
They found Mrs. Shatner on the side of the pool. They attempted to resuscitate her, but were unsuccessful. She was 40 years old.
Friends and relatives were shocked, especially because Nerine was a strong swimmer.
The next day, Shatner held a press conference in his driveway.
“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 play.”
Thanks for the update, Frank. Cheers! Whoops!
Trivia: There are two Doberman guard dogs on the property. Look closely – here is a photo that Steve took of one of them.
More Trivia: Just coz I have it, here’s a pic of the garage, and rear gate of the home. Thanks again, Steve.
UPDATE February 2005, from Find a Death friend John:
I was at the Betty Ford Center with Nerine, and spent some time with her. What a lovely person.
This was 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.