Val Kilmer says prayers healed his throat cancer, not chemotherapy: ‘Treatment caused my suffering'

The 61-year-old actor is a firm believer of Christian Science and doesn't accept that he had cancer at all


                            Val Kilmer says prayers healed his throat cancer, not chemotherapy: ‘Treatment caused my suffering'
(Getty Images)

Val Kilmer has recently opened up about his battle with throat cancer but denied that medical treatment healed him. Instead he claimed his prayer helped him with the deadly disease.

Talking to journalist Taffy Brodesser-Akner of the New York Times, Kilmer discussed the medical journey that resulted in him losing his voice and getting a tracheostomy tube. But he denied that he had throat cancer.

The ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ star is a believer of Christian Science and only accepts the authority (though not the inerrancy) of the Bible and prefers not to take traditional medical care. However, when Kilmer went to a doctor in 2014 after complaining of a big lump in his throat, due to which he was having a hard time swallowing and sometimes he also woke up in a pool of his own blood, he was told it was cancer.

But according to his belief, it was a “suggestion of throat cancer”, meaning that in Christian Science, “the idea is rather than say I have it or possess it, there is a claim, there’s a suggestion that this is a fact.”

The ‘Batman Forever’ star said that at the time, he knew the cure for his health issue would be to work with his practitioner, Christian Science’s version of a spiritual adviser, and pray his fear away so that his body would no longer “manifest outwardly what can be diagnosed as a malady.”

But that wasn't possible at the time because Kilmer’s children, Jack, 24, and Mercedes, 28, and his ex-wife Joanne Whalley with whom he shares the grown-up kids are not Christian Science believers. They could not let him go and heal by himself. “I just didn’t want to experience their fear, which was profound. I would’ve had to go away, and I just didn’t want to be without them,” he said.

Kilmer had a surgery the same year followed by chemotherapy and radiation “that zapped my whole throat, and it’s still dry as a bone” and left him with the tracheostomy tube and a feeding tube. Several years ago after the 2014 surgery, Kilmer was also spotted wearing scarves, and in 2016 his ‘The Ghost and the Darkness’ co-star, Michael Douglas, who also suffered from cancer, spilled out in media that Kilmer was suffering from cancer. But Kilmer denied that, posting on Facebook that he had “no cancer whatsoever.”

And, now when the NYT journalist asked him why he denied at that time that he had cancer, Kilmer responded, “Because I didn’t have cancer.” “They said I was denying that I had cancer, and when they asked me, I didn’t have cancer. It was a bit like do you have a broken bone? And if you broke it in high school, you would say no,” he explained.

Continuing further, the 61-year-old said: “Suddenly suspect. I have had a bone broken, but why are you being so aggressive? I had a bone broken. It was broken in my leg. ‘Oh, so you have a broken leg.’ ‘No, no, I don’t,’ I say. I did have a broken leg.”

Kilmer said that though he is no longer suffering from cancer, he is suffering from another thing as he pointed towards his tracheostomy tube. He also insisted that he healed because of his prayer, not medical intervention. “I prayed, and that was my form of treatment,” he said.

“That’s from radiation and chemotherapy. It’s not from cancer,” Kilmer said, adding the medical response to cancer was the thing that hurt him. “That ‘treatment’ caused my suffering.”

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