While speaking with host Jonathan Ross at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Michael Douglas recounted his time filming the 1996 movie The Ghost and the Darkness with Val Kilmer, and revealed that Kilmer is battling oral cancer. “The picture didn’t turn out as well as I hoped but I had a wonderful time. Val was a wonderful guy who is dealing with exactly what I had, and things don’t look too good for him,” said Douglas, who battled tongue cancer in 2013. “My prayers are with him. That’s why you haven’t heard too much from Val lately.”
“I had to deal with chemo, radiation, which is a seven-week period, and a bunch of weeks either side,” Douglas continued. “I was really honest about it and you just progressively, as you take the chemo and radiation, you get weaker and not moving around.”
On Facebook, Kilmer has been promoting a film screening of his one-man play about Mark Twain. Perhaps in a nod to the news, he quoted Twain: “The recent news of my death has been greatly exaggerated …” In the past, Kilmer has denied rumors of ill health on Facebook. “There’s a rumor I’m unwell again and in hospital which is totally untrue,” Kilmer wrote in a post last October. Earlier this year, Kilmer wrote again to flatly state that he does not have a tumor:
Thank you for all your sweet support. But I have not had a tumor, or a tumor operations, or any operation. I had a complication where the best way to receive care was to stay under the watchful eye of the ucla ICU. Friends have assisted who know my spiritual convictions and have been most sensitive and kind for the extra effort in making sure there’s minimum gossip and silly talk.
TMZ later reported that some of Kilmer’s family members believe his faith in Christian Science, which eschews medical care for prayer, is killing him.
Update November 2: Kilmer addressed Douglas’s comments in a lengthy post on Facebook, saying he has “no cancer whatsoever.” “I love Michael Douglas but he is misinformed,” Kilmer wrote.