During a question-and-answer session in London earlier this week, Douglas claimed that Kilmer was suffering from the same form of throat cancer that he himself battled in 2010.
“Val was a wonderful guy who is dealing with exactly what I had, and things don’t look too good for him,” Douglas said of his co-star from the 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness. “My prayers are with him. That’s why you haven’t heard too much from Val lately.”
But in a Facebook essay posted Tuesday night, Kilmer said that he hadn't even spoken to Douglas for nearly two years.
"I asked him for a referral for a specialist to get a diagnosis for a lump in my throat," Kilmer clarified, "which prevented me from continuing a tour of my play Citizen Twain. I ended up using a team at UCLA and have no cancer whatsoever. I still have a swollen tongue and am rehabbing steadily."
The tense he used may be telling. Kilmer says he has no cancer; he does not say he never had it.
Kilmer was hospitalized in late January 2015, but later said it was not due to a "tumor, tumor operation or any operation." Rather, he wrote, on Facebook, "I had a complication where the best way to receive care was to stay under the watchful eye of the UCLA ICU."
He says he realizes the fact that he has been largely quiet about his situation may have led to concern that he was putting his Christian Scientist beliefs ahead of his health.
"Some fans have mistakenly thought my silence about my personal issues meant that somehow I wasn't being responsible to my health, because of my reliance on prayer and love," he wrote. "Nothing could be further from the truth."
According to the church's website, "Christian Scientists are always free to choose for themselves and their families the kind of health care that meets their needs. However, by practicing Christian Science, many have lived happy and healthy lives free of drugs and other systems of physical care."
Kilmer added that he bears no ill will towards Douglas, saying, "Whatever led (him) to speculate about my health, he's a loving and devoted friend to a privileged group of talented people around the world, and I'm sure he meant no harm."