“Star Trek” Actor William Shatner married his third wife to help her beat her inner demons. Unfortunately, she died only two years after they walked down the aisle.
William Shatner has had a very successful Hollywood career, especially after portraying Captain James T. Kirk in the “Star Trek” franchise. Unfortunately, his relationships have not been that smooth.
He has been married four times, but only three of them ended up in divorce. His third wife, Nerine Kidd, succumbed to her addiction shortly after Shatner told her he would leave her.
Born in March 1931, Shatner married his first wife, Gloria Rand, in 1956. The Canadian actress peaked in the 1950s when she starred in four TV shows, but things stalled after that.
In 1969, after Rand and Shatner had three daughters together – Leslie, Lisabeth, and Melanie – they divorced. The actor confessed those were challenging times as he was divorced, with three children to support, and broke.
The situation was so dire that he couldn’t afford hotels even with some summer work. As a result, he lived in the back of a pick-up truck in the San Fernando Valley.
His career got back on track shortly after, and in 1973, he married Marcy Lafferty. She was also a promising actress who appeared in a few projects, including “Hawaii Five-O” and “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.”
Shatner and Lafferty, whose father was an important TV producer, didn’t have kids but were together for 23 years. Although it seemed like they were meant for each other, they parted ways in 1996.
One year after divorcing Lafferty, Shatner married Ex-Model Nerine Kidd. More about their short relationship, her addiction, and her tragic death later.
Shatner’s fourth wife was Horse Trainer Elizabeth Martin. Their relationship raised some eyebrows because of their age difference – she is 27 years his junior.
Shatner’s good friend Leonard Nimoy warned him about Kidd’s issues with alcohol.
The former couple walked down the aisle in 2001 but sadly divorced in 2020. Martin was by the actor’s side during the most frightening time of his life: he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in 2016.
During the three months following his diagnosis, Shatner was in denial, afraid, and angry. He eventually decided he would fight cancer no matter what but then learned it was a false positive. He didn’t have cancer.
Still, the way Shatner saw life changed. Even though Martin kept their Kentucky and California homes amid the divorce, Shatner revealed no ill feelings toward her as “nothing” could make him sad.
Coming back to Shatner and Kidd’s relationship, they met in 1994 on the set of the TV show “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.” Kidd started her career as a model in the States before walking down runways in Europe.
She always dated older men, so nobody was surprised when she and Shatner, 28 years senior, announced their relationship. They tied the knot in Pasadena in 1997, but their marriage was destined to fail.
Shatner’s good friend Leonard Nimoy (Spock in the “Star Trek” franchise) warned him about Kidd’s issues with alcohol just before they exchanged vows.
The then-groom told Nimoy he knew about her addiction, but he loved her anyway. “Well, Bill, then you are in for a rough ride,” Nimoy responded. He knew alcoholism all too well because he was a recovering alcoholic.
It is important to point out that Shatner almost didn’t marry Kidd due to her addiction. However, he decided to do it after she begged him to marry her and help her beat her demons.
The media started asking if Shatner had killed his wife.
During the earlier years of their relationship, Kidd hid how bad her alcohol problems were. Eventually, she couldn’t hide it anymore. She would go to bed sober, but she would be drunk when Shatner woke up in the morning.
Kidd failed to get sober after three stints at rehab, and Shatner even had an immobilizer fitted to her car so she couldn’t drive under the influence of alcohol. He said:
“I married Nerine against the advice of my family and friends. Against my own good sense. But I absolutely worshipped her, and I thought, stupidly, that I could heal her.”
At some point, Kidd started showing signs of depression. She even told Shatner she wanted a baby, but he refused because he didn’t think she was responsible enough.
In October 1998, 11 months after exchanging vows, Shatner filed for divorce. Kidd’s psychiatrist told him he needed to leave her for her own good. They didn’t separate right away as they tried to reconcile. Sadly, they couldn’t do it.
On August 9, 1999, Shatner found Kidd at the bottom of the pool of their hillside mansion in Studio City. He tried to save her, but it was too late. She was already dead.
The autopsy revealed that Kidd had been drinking heavily and taking sleeping pills before jumping into the pool. The two cracked neck vertebrae and bruises on her face indicated that she banged her head after diving into the water and lost consciousness.
Given that O. J. and Nicole Simpson’s case was still fresh in people’s memories, the media started asking if Shatner had killed his wife. However, her death was ruled an accident. About it, Shatner said:
“For someone to suspect I killed her? I gave my life to my wife because I loved her. I devoted myself to her until the day she died…Alcoholism had Nerine by the throat.”
Kidd’s father, Warren, also blamed Shatner for her passing. He didn’t believe the actor killed her, though, but he was sure Kidd’s life unraveled after marrying him. Warren never approved of the marriage as he and Shatner were the same age.
A few years after her passing, Shatner wrote a song titled “What Have You Done,” detailing Kidd’s death. In it, he showed remorse as his love was supposed to “protect” and “heal” her, but it didn’t. Rest in peace.