icon William Shatner
is breaking his silence for the first time about the tragic death of his third wife, Nerine
, nearly three years ago. The 71-year-old actor — who found Nerine at the bottom of their swimming pool on Aug. 9, 1999 — confesses in an upcoming issue of TV Guide
magazine that he was so devastated he contemplated suicide. "I came from the depths of despair," he tells TV Guide
senior writer Mary Murphy. "I came from a strong feeling that life was not really good enough to stay with it. I would have been happy to die. I may very well have been thinking of, contemplating ways to help that along." Shatner goes on to discuss his strained relationship with members of the original Star Trek
cast, revealing that he contacted them hoping to mend fences. "With the exception of Nichelle [Nichols
, who played Uhura], they didn't want to talk to me about it. They said that's all water under the bridge... Maybe I'm brusque. But is brusque worth a vendetta for all these years when we're all going to die very soon?"