mr. Showmanship, as Liberace was popularly known, lived a full life; in the 1950s and 1970s he was the highest paid entertainer in the world, led a rather controversial life and died of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) at the end of his life. He never admitted to being homosexual during his lifetime, but several of his lovers came forward after his death, as well as some before he died. One of them was his employee, Scott Thorson, who is now serving an unsupervised prison sentence in residential confinement, scheduled for release on September 3, 2022.
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Liberace’s Boy Toy, or Toy Boy as he is often called, has had a dramatic life since he first met Liberace when he was just 17 years old.
The untold truth
Scott Thorson was born on January 23, 1959 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA; living with an abusive father and a mentally ill mother, Scott soon found himself on the streets. He met Liberace in 1976 through their mutual friend, Bob Street, who worked with Liberace on his Vegas shows, and it was at one of these shows that Liberace and Scott met. A year later, Scott was hired by Liberace as a personal friend, companion, driver and assistant during shows.
Their relationship turned into romance and lasted for the next five years until young Scott turned 22 when he was let go and their relationship ended.
According to Scott, he claimed their relationship had ended, either because of Thorson’s drug addiction, Liberace’s promiscuous behavior, or both. Over the years, Scott developed a drug addiction that was so strong that he faced numerous problems later in life, and to this day has not shaken his addiction. He claimed that when he underwent plastic surgery – to look more like Liberace – the surgeon gave him a cocktail of addictive drugs, including cocaine, Quaaludes, Demerol and biphetamines.
Once their relationship ended, Scott filed a lawsuit against Liberace for $113 million, but eventually the case was settled out of court in 1986, a year before Liberace’s death, with Scott paying $75,000 in cash and three cars plus three dogs worth more than $20,000. According to sources, the value of that sum would be $222,000 today. Once the lawsuit went public and Scott’s claims that Liberace had thrown him out on the street with nothing, Liberace began denying the allegations that he was gay, and in 1984, during court depositions, he claimed that Thorson was never his lover.
After Liberace’s death, Scott published the book “Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace”, which details their relationship. The book was later made into the movie “Behind the Candelabra” directed by Steven Soderbergh, and released in 2013 starring Michael Douglas as Liberace, while Scott was played by Matt Damon.
Legal troubles, shootings, incarceration
In 1989, Scott was the key witness to the Wonderland Gang’s quadruple murder, and because of the importance of his testimonies, he was placed in the federal witness protection program.
The following year, however, he was shot five times in his hotel room in Jacksonville, Florida, but survived to tell the story verbatim.
His drug problems continued into the late 2000s, when he was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to drug crimes and burglary in 2008. He was diagnosed with stage II colon cancer four years later, but he also managed to overcome the disease – advocating for money through public campaigns during his treatments. A year after he got out of prison, police traced stolen credit cards to Scott under the alias Jess Marlow, and after he pleaded guilty to charges, he was placed on five years’ probation.
However, his efforts to stay out of prison were truly non-existent as he tested positive for drugs several times and his probation was commuted to a prison term of eight to 20 years. On January 2, 2014, he was incarcerated at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center, in Carson City, but is now in unsupervised residential incarceration, with a scheduled release date of September 3, 2022.
Scott Thorson net worth
Scott enjoyed a lavish life while with Liberace, as the showman showered him with gifts, jewelry, expensive travel, diamonds and mink coats.
Scott claimed he had more diamonds and mink coats than Elizabeth Taylor. However, he later sold almost all of his worldly possessions for cars and drugs. Still, his net worth is now estimated to be around $1 million as of mid 2020.
Liberace’s short biography
Born Władziu Valentino Liberace on May 16, 1919 in West Allis, Wisconsin, USA, he was the son of Salvatore Liberace, an immigrant from Formia in the Lazio region of Italy, and his wife, Frances Zuchowska, of Polish descent. His identical twin brother died at birth, and he had three siblings who survived him: George, a violinist, Angelina, and Rudolph Valentino Liberace.
The family was struggling financially, which had put pressure on members, but Liberace began taking piano lessons when he was only four years old. He was a child prodigy and nurtured his talent – he was not like other kids, which became more evident in his teenage years as he started showing his effeminate personality, for which he was bullied throughout his school years.
Nevertheless, he found solace in the piano and music, and under the guidance of Florence Kelly, a music teacher who oversaw his development, he began performing for dance classes, in clubs, and at weddings.
It was in 1936 that he got his first major engagement and performed constantly until 1986. He could be heard on the radio, in concert halls and seen on television. He earned over $300,000 a week for his live performances. Although almost everyone knew it, Liberace never admitted to being gay, but eventually died of HIV on February 4, 1987.
At the time of his death, Liberace’s net worth was estimated at over $110 million.