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Four-time Emmy Award winning producer Jim Brown is backing off his statement that Kris Kristofferson, 79, suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease as he stated in a recent interview with podcast host Halli Casser-Jayne on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show. Brown is the producer of ‘The Highwaymen – Friends till the End,” documentary, featuring Kristofferson airing on PBS stations Friday, May 27, 9 pm ET. He had recently interviewed Kristofferson and his wife Lisa for his film.
Brown’s revelation can be heard in the podcast audio interview at approximately 26 minutes in. When asked about Kristofferson’s mental agility Brown answered: “So I think he’s a happy guy, probably not happy he has Alzheimer’s, but personally his disposition seemed wonderful.”
In a subsequent communication with host Halli Casser-Jayne, Brown appears to be backing off his earlier statement. “I have no direct knowledge of Kris Kristofferson’s medical condition,” he wrote to Ms. Casser-Jayne. “I was mistaken to mention that he has Alzheimer’s. I don’t know more than that he has memory problems which he has spoken about.”
Calls to Kristofferson’s office to either affirm or deny Brown’s statement and Kristofferson’s condition have not been returned.
Rumors concerning Kris Kristofferson’s health have percolated through the music industry for years. Some have made the uneducated guess that the former boxer could be suffering from pugilistica, a neurodegenerative disease with features of dementia that can only be diagnosed after death.
Kristofferson has never issued an official statement concerning his memory loss, but in a 2011 interview with ABC’s World News Now he said: “I’m going to be right in the middle of a sentence, man – and it just goes, pew.” In another in 2013, with FOX411 he said, “I wish my memory weren’t so bad,” and he lamented, “They tell me it’s from all the football and boxing and the concussions that I got. A couple of years ago my memory just started going. But I can remember my songs so I can perform, but other than that…”
Brown also took issue with being referred to as a “longtime” friend of Kristofferson’s. “Although I have been lucky enough to work with Kris on at least 4 projects in the past 25 years before this current film, I think it might be overstatement to say we are long time friends. We like each other, but I am not part of his inner circle. I am a total fan of his work who has also documented it and enjoyed his gracious nature in the process.”
To listen to the entire exchange and Halli’s conversation with author Terry Jennings, oldest son of country singer Waylon Jennings visit Halli Casser-Jayne dot com. The Halli Casser-Jayne Show airs original episodes Wednesdays, 3 pm ET.