New Mexico residents fed up with big-mouth actor Val Kilmer

David Paulin
What goes around comes around -- even for Hollywood snobs and elitists. Big-mouth Hollywood actor Val Kilmer is finding that out in New Mexico, where a number of residents are upset over incendiary remarks the Hollywood pretty boy has made over the years about veterans and rural life in northern New Mexico. Now, they're giving Kilmer a hard time over his efforts to obtain permits needed to turn his sprawling ranch outside Santa Fe into an upscale bed-and-breakfast.

What, especially, are the locals so upset about? The Wall Street Journal provides details in an article today, "New Mexico v. Val Kilmer: Payback Time":


Mr. Kilmer, who starred in "Tombstone," "The Doors," "Batman Forever" and, more recently, "MacGruber," was quoted-misquoted, he says-describing his rugged corner of New Mexico as "the homicide capital of the Southwest."

He went on to avow that "80% of the people in my county are drunk," requiring him to carry a gun for protection. That was in a 2003 interview with Rolling Stone.

In Esquire two years later, Mr. Kilmer was quoted-again, misquoted, he says-opining that he understands Vietnam better than its veterans, because most of them were "borderline criminal or poor ... wretched kids" who landed in the military because they "got beat up by their dads" or "couldn't finagle a scholarship."

At a hearing last month on Mr. Kilmer's application, a half-dozen locals and veterans demanded the star apologize before being allowed to welcome paying guests onto his Pecos River Ranch. The county attorney, Jesus Lopez, backed them up. Mr. Kilmer's quotes were "incendiary" and, dated as they may be, created a "clear and present danger threatening public safety," he said.

Now surprisingly, Kilmer is getting support from the local ACLU. According to the WSJ, the rights watchdog declared that "whether or not (Kilmer) had actually talked trash about his county, he had every right to do so without fear that his permits would be held hostage."


A second hearing is scheduled for this Wednesday on Kilmer's quest for his needed permits. Some of the locals are hoping he'll apologize at that hearing. "It's a situation that's pretty volatile," David Salazar, chair of the Board of County Commissioners, told the The Journal.



What goes around comes around -- even for Hollywood snobs and elitists. Big-mouth Hollywood actor Val Kilmer is finding that out in New Mexico, where a number of residents are upset over incendiary remarks the Hollywood pretty boy has made over the years about veterans and rural life in northern New Mexico. Now, they're giving Kilmer a hard time over his efforts to obtain permits needed to turn his sprawling ranch outside Santa Fe into an upscale bed-and-breakfast.

What, especially, are the locals so upset about? The Wall Street Journal provides details in an article today, "New Mexico v. Val Kilmer: Payback Time":


Mr. Kilmer, who starred in "Tombstone," "The Doors," "Batman Forever" and, more recently, "MacGruber," was quoted-misquoted, he says-describing his rugged corner of New Mexico as "the homicide capital of the Southwest."

He went on to avow that "80% of the people in my county are drunk," requiring him to carry a gun for protection. That was in a 2003 interview with Rolling Stone.

In Esquire two years later, Mr. Kilmer was quoted-again, misquoted, he says-opining that he understands Vietnam better than its veterans, because most of them were "borderline criminal or poor ... wretched kids" who landed in the military because they "got beat up by their dads" or "couldn't finagle a scholarship."

At a hearing last month on Mr. Kilmer's application, a half-dozen locals and veterans demanded the star apologize before being allowed to welcome paying guests onto his Pecos River Ranch. The county attorney, Jesus Lopez, backed them up. Mr. Kilmer's quotes were "incendiary" and, dated as they may be, created a "clear and present danger threatening public safety," he said.

Now surprisingly, Kilmer is getting support from the local ACLU. According to the WSJ, the rights watchdog declared that "whether or not (Kilmer) had actually talked trash about his county, he had every right to do so without fear that his permits would be held hostage."


A second hearing is scheduled for this Wednesday on Kilmer's quest for his needed permits. Some of the locals are hoping he'll apologize at that hearing. "It's a situation that's pretty volatile," David Salazar, chair of the Board of County Commissioners, told the The Journal.