William Shatner came under fire from many people online on Saturday after he tweeted he was unable to make it to the funeral of his friend and Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy, who had died at age 83 a day earlier.
Shatner, also 83, who played Captain Kirk alongside Nimoy's Mr. Spock, said he had made a prior commitment to attend the 58th International Red Cross Ball in Palm Beach, Florida that night, where he was honored, along with fellow entertainers Wayne Newton and Shirley MacLaine. He added that he felt "really awful" about missing the funeral.
"I chose to honor a commitment I made months ago to appear at a charitable fundraiser. A lot of money was raised. So here I am; tell me off," Shatner tweeted on Sunday.
On Saturday, Shatner had also called on his Twitter followers to spend some time the following day "celebrating Leonard's life and remembering the man," who he had said he had loved like a brother.
He also said on Sunday that his daughters Melanie and Lisabeth will attend Nimoy's memorial service, which took place that morning. The actor lived in Los Angeles with his wife, Susan Bay.
"He had a good, long life, he did a lot of things, he inspired a lot of people, he was loved by a lot of people and he loved a lot of people," Shat told Local10.com on-camera at the ball. "It's sad that you have to be reminded that life is that short."
In addition to scores of negative posts on social media about the actor's decision to miss the funeral, The New York Daily News ran a front page story about it, with the headline "Captain Jerk!" Shatner posted a tweet in response, with a photo of the newspaper, saying, "I want to share this. Let's discuss it."
He also said, in response to a suggestion that he charter a private jet to Los Angeles after the ball, "I must have missed your email about underwriting the arrangement and payment for this."
He also posted, "One of the other misconceptions seems to be that folks think flights to LAX occur all night long."
Last-minute tickets on trips for any major U.S. city are hard to come by. Flights from Palm Beach to Los Angeles are not direct, meaning there's more chance for delays, and there are also fewer of them on weekends.
The latest flight to L.A. out of Palm Beach International Airport on Saturday took off around 7 p.m. ET. The earliest time of arrival in the West Coast city on Sunday for a flight from Palm Beach is around 11:30 a.m.
Around 12 p.m. ET on Sunday, Shatner began a Twitter Q&A with fans, sharing heartwarming thoughts and memories of Nimoy.
Read several of his tweets below.