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Drowning of Shatner's wife was accidental, police say

Actor William Shatner's wife drowned in their pool while home alone, and police said Tuesday the death was accidental.

Former model Nerine Shatner, 40, and the Star Trek star had been married less than two years.

"My beautiful wife is dead," Shatner, 68, said tearfully when he briefly stepped out of his gated hillside estate in the affluent Studio City neighborhood. "She meant everything to me. Her laughter, her tears and her joy will remain with me the rest of my life."

Shatner had filed for divorce Oct. 21, 11 months after the couple wed, citing irreconcilable differences. Papers filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court said the Shatners had separated Oct. 14.

The office of Leonard Machtinger, Shatner's attorney, referred questions about the divorce filing to the actor's manager Larry Thompson, who did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Shatner told police he came home about 9:30 p.m. Monday and found his wife at the bottom of the deep end of the pool.

"Mr. Shatner dove into the pool, dragged his wife out of the pool and called 911 and was advised by paramedics to perform CPR," police Lt. Adam Bercovici said.

When paramedics arrived "she was beyond our help," Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.

However, police detective Mike Coffey said there was no evidence of foul play, and that an investigation showed Mrs. Shatner had drowned accidentally in the short time she was home alone.

The Shatners were married in November 1997. It was his third marriage.

According to an account of the wedding in People magazine, he vowed to her: "I pledge allegiance to you, Nerine, my queen."

Referring to the ring he placed on her finger, he said, "When it is dark and there is trouble, you need but wave that bauble and there will be light."

Shatner, best known as Capt. James T. Kirk on the 1960s science fiction show Star Trek and the Star Trek movies, has also starred in the TV police drama T.J. Hooker and hosted Rescue 911.

He also has written a series of science fiction books.

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