Esquire Confirms Val Kilmer Quote

Actor Val Kilmer, who is contemplating a campaign for governor of New Mexico, recently sent us a message denying that he made the derogatory comments about Vietnam vets that were quoted in a 2005 Chuck Klosterman interview for Esquire magazine.

So naturally we sent an inquiry to Esquire to clear up the "confusion", asking if they would care to comment, and whether the interview had been taped and the quotes could be confirmed.

This morning, we received the following response from the Editor-in-Chief of Esquire (emphasis in original):

The quotes attributed to Mr. Kilmer in Mr. Klosterman’s story are absolutely accurate. The interview was recorded and every quote used in the story was checked by our research department to insure that it was printed precisely as spoken.

It should be noted Mr. Kilmer did not dispute the validity of the quotations when the article was first published four years ago, nor did he dispute them when the article was reprinted in Mr. Klosterman’s fourth book, nor did he dispute them when the story appeared in Ira Glass’s anthology The New Kings of Nonfiction.


David Granger
Editor in Chief

What can we say?

As a journalism graduate and a lawyer, I suspected the interview had been recorded, to protect both sides in the event of a dispute over what had been said or not said. I certainly expected a publication with the reputation of Esquire to be responsible enough to double-check its quotes prior to publication.

Recording the interview provides them with a defense in the case of a lawsuit by the person being interviewed, because truth is an absolute defense to a lawsuit for defamation of character. Having a separate research department conduct the double-check prevents the he-said-she-said problem. That means an Esquire employee listened to the taped interview and confirmed that the quote was accurate before it was approved for publication.

This confirmation from Esquire leaves us with a sense of sadness. It confirms that not only is Mr. Kilmer ignorant, arrogant and unkind, shooting off his mouth to insult 8.3 million Vietnam veterans who served this nation honorably, he apparently is also a liar when it's convenient to his purposes. (Either that, or he has a really bad memory.) We hope the voters of New Mexico will take note.

Sound Off (Again)

We appreciate you holding off on additional comments while we waited for the confirmation from Esquire. Below, we give you the opportunity to sound off (again) on this issue, and remind you to keep it clean, as this is a family-friendly site. If you wouldn't want your 5-year-old daughter using those words, find some others to convey your sentiments. We've spent a lot of time editing some of your previous comments, and some were deleted without publication because they were nothing but profane name-calling. Thanks.

Facts About Vietnam Vets

Because of some of the comments that we received in response to our original publication of Kilmer's quote, containing inaccurate information regarding our Vietnam veterans, we have compiled a page of documented facts about our Vietnam veterans, who answered our country's call and served honorably, and US participation in the conflict to save Southeast Asia from the spread of Communism.

On that page, we invite you to submit your own stories of service in Vietnam, or your stories about family members who served, and especially your thanks to those who served. We believe it's important to preserve that legacy for future generations, and we believe it's time that our Vietnam vets are recognized and appreciated for the sacrifices they made for the betterment of the world we live in. Scroll down that page and look at the difference in the number of days of combat for WWII veterans and for Vietnam veterans. If nothing else, that should give you a better appreciation for their service.

Now, here's your opportunity to respond to Esquire's confirmation of Val Kilmer's quote in the Chuck Klosterman 2005 interview:

Have a Comment about Val's Response Now?

We appreciate you holding responses pending Esquire's confirmation of Kilmer's quote about Vietnam Vets. Now that it has been confirmed that he made those statements, what are your thoughts? (Scroll down below the form to read other's comments . . .)

Other Readers' Comments

Here's what other visitors to this page have said ...

Perspective on Val Kilmer's Vietnam Vet Comments 
After reading your articles and updates about Val Kilmer's insults to Viet Nam veterans , I would like to add some perspective: I know a number of …

Saddened by Val Kilmer's Comments 
Though I don't care for 'war' movies and could never sit thru " Top Gun ", I have enjoyed Val Kilmer in several of his other films, Thunderheart and …

I Enjoyed Val Kilmer's Acting in Tombstone. 
I enjoyed Val Kilmer's acting in Tombstone. Of course, I don't know him as a person. I think his comments prove again that we don't know much about …

Is Val Saying Draftees Are 'Lesser' People? 
Dallas writes: Val Kilmer's assertions, if he in fact made them (as it appears), seem to imply that people who couldn't afford college, didn't make …

kilmer has no life experience 
Jonny writes: how did kilmer get to julliards at such a young age? daddy bought his way in. do you think his acting is really, special? he …

Val WHO? 
Kilmer is an ignorant arrogant asshat, whose collection of awards speaks volumes about his acting ability: Oscar Awards : No Golden Globe : No Independent …

Viet Nam Era Veteran 
Linda writes: I am a Viet Nam Era veteran. I enlisted in the Navy in 1970 and served until medically discharged in 1978. I was a high school graduate …

Drafted Vietnam Vets are losers too? 
Ronnie writes: So, the Vietnam vets that were drafted are losers, too, Mr. Kiljoy? Kilmer is too young to know the facts so he just makes up what …

Val Kilmer and Other Traitors 
Richard writes: Adolf Hitler's Propaganda Minister Goebbels said: "If you repeat a lie long enough, it will become the truth." Unfortunately, …

Mr. Ignoramus (you may have to look that up, Kilmer), I am one of those idiots you referred to... I volunteered to go to war in WW II, Korea and Viet …

To Kilmer and the Rest of Hollywood's Finest 
It's sad to see these celluloid heroes manifest themselves as real men who understand. Kilmer never had to search the pack of one he was just instrumental …

75th Ranger Charlie Company Vietnam 1968-1969 
I am the wife of a VietNam Vet, and I am angry at this arrogant egotistical wannabe. I emailed his web site and his lackeys emailed back (they call …

For Val.... 
I found his description of the brave men and women who served our great country in Viet Nam better describes most of the actors and actresses in this country. …

Val Kilmer Dishonorable, Lying and DownRight Disgusting 
I am the Proud daughter of a Vietnam and Korean War Veteran. My father was a proud citizen of the U.S., he was proud to support Our Country in any way …

Val Kilmer fits the profile 
Sad to say, Val Kilmer fits the profile of many now in public office here in the USA. Possibly, actually confirmably, it is the fact that our K-12 …

A Perfect Resume' 
Insulting veterans and the military in general... Getting quoted in a major publication on it... Denying he ever said it (another dodge much like "I …

Twisted Lies 
If people think Esquire, or publications/sites like it, are a reputable publication(s), they need to check out other times where the people that write …

Mr. Kilmer, You are Indeed a Liar 
Not only are you a liar, you are an uninformed liar. And you are not really a good actor either. Acting out scenes of life, especially real life, whether …

Mr. Kilmer, Who's Lying Now? 
I really tried to withhold further judgment against Val Kilmer regarding his remarks until there was confirmation from Esquire on the validity of those …

Truly saddened by the confirmation 
Mr. Kilmer missed a great opportunity to admit an error and take steps to make amends. That course of action might have better served his political …

Thank you Editor for your defense of Vietnam Veterans! 
Editor -- Thank you so much for your diligence and perseverance pursuing the accuracy of this matter. Unfortunately for our country, our political …

The Truth, and Nothing But...Kilmer 
Mr. Kilmer, you have degraded the men and women who served and really continue to serve. Yes, we served for your right to free speech and you used it, …

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