Liberace's former lover Scott Thorson talks about their relationship while he faces prison for burglary and identity theft
The man whose book is the basis for the upcoming HBO film on entertainer Liberace will not be able to watch it. His prison doesn’t have the channel.
Scott Thorson, Liberace’s ex-lover, has been in a Nevada jail since this past February. He is charged with buying a computer and cell phone with a credit card that wasn’t his. Last Wednesday (8 May) he pleaded guilty and asked to be placed in a rehabilitation program. Punishment could range from probation to 2 to 30 years in prison.
‘This experience has scared me straight,’ Thorson said to the New York Times. ‘There comes a time when you’ve got to take responsibility. You’ve got to stop lying and face your mistakes.’
How he ended up behind bars is a complicated story. According to the article Thorson might not be the best source for information.
‘His approach to communicating with people is always to play it in a manner that reflects best on him,’ Oliver Mading, a man Thorson calls his adoptive father and manager, said to the newspaper.
What is known is that in 1977 Thorson moved into Liberace’s extravagant Las Vegas mansion. There was first class travel and shopping sprees. He even became a staple in his lover’s act. Thorson would drive the pianist on stage in a Rolls-Royce. The younger man’s costume was a chauffeur’s costume with rhinestones. The affair ended in 1982, when Thorson was forcibly removed from Liberace’s Los Angeles’ penthouse.
There was a bitter, and very public, $113 million (â‚¬87 million) palimony suit. This was settled in 1986 for $95,000 (â‚¬73,164) and approximately a year later Liberace was dead from an AIDS related illness.
The HBO film based on Thorson’s autobiography, Behind the Candelabra, will air on 26 May; Matt Damon plays Thorson and Michael Douglass Liberace. The project is earning attention, from an Entertainment Weekly cover to anticipation from critics.
"It looks amazing and completely ridiculous,’ culture blogger Juice with Junior said to GSN. ‘Michael Douglass will probably get nominated and win an Emmy and Golden Globe.’
Junior hopes the film deals with how a man so flamboyantly gay in dress, and manner, could be seen as heterosexual by his fans.
‘How did straight people at the time believe Liberace was straight,’ Junior wonders. ‘What did they tell themselves that this man, in crystal gowns and a white piano, was still heterosexual?’
Below is the film’s teaser.