- Associated Press - Friday, February 12, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The walls and shelves inside William Shatner’s office are covered with the kinds of memorabilia you’d expect from someone who’s served for over 50 years as a pop-culture icon.

There are framed awards, art pieces, posters for Montreal sports teams and covers of his past books.

Shatner’s latest memoir, “Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man,” is out Tuesday. In the book, Shatner details his relationship with “Star Trek” comrade Leonard Nimoy, who died a year ago.

When he’s asked about one image in particular - a picture of Shatner, Nimoy and their late “Star Trek” co-star DeForest Kelley - he doesn’t remember where or when the picture was taken. However, he’s struck by their body language. In the photo, Shatner and Nimoy are smiling together off to one side, while the Dr. McCoy actor appears more serious away from the duo.

“I suppose Leonard and I were closer than we were letting on even there,” Shatner says with his eyes gleaming like he’d just discovered a new alien world.

The 84-year-old actor-writer spoke with The Associated Press last week about his on-again, off-again relationship with Nimoy from behind the desk in his office.

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AP: Why did you want to write a book about your relationship with Leonard?

Shatner: It marks the period at end of this long paragraph of our lives together. I thought I needed to say this for myself, but it may be of interest to other people.

AP: Why do you think you and Leonard were close?

Shatner: We were so much alike and had so much in common - both in our personal and professional history - that we were able to speak on terms that we both understood. I never had that before. (He was) a brother I never had. That’s how he and I referred to each other.

AP: How difficult was it to revisit your relationship? There were highs but also lows.

Shatner: It was very difficult to be entirely honest with myself. I think sugarcoating was a possibility, and I didn’t want to do that. This is the truth, as I see it. I’m not going to be around for a great deal more time, and (the book) will hopefully define, if someone is interested, what these two actors felt.

AP: Eventually, Leonard and you weren’t on speaking terms with each other. How do you feel about not having any closure with him before his death?

Shatner: I feel a great deal of sadness. Here was this great friend who had a problem with me, and I don’t know what the problem is - no matter what I tried to do. Leonard had done that more than once with other people. It was his means of protecting himself, in some manner. I don’t know what it was. It’ll remain a mystery.

AP: How do you feel about criticisms from people that this book capitalizes on his death and you shouldn’t have written it?

Shatner: I don’t understand that. Why not? It happened to me. It didn’t happen to them. I have made many stories, anecdotes and dramatic readings of things that have happened to me.

AP: You’re not in the next “Star Trek” movie, right?

Shatner: No.

AP: Have you seen the previews for it? It looks like Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk is engaging in motorcycle stunts on an alien planet. Did your Kirk ever ride motorcycle?

Shatner: I’m a motorcyclist. I have been for a good part of my life. Kirk has not been on a motorcycle. Kirk has been weightless and far exceeded being on a motorcycle.

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Online:

http://www.williamshatner.com

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