Elizabeth Taylor’s painful secret finally revealed

A secret Elizabeth Taylor wanted to be kept until after she was dead has finally been revealed. Fifteen years ago, she told interviewer Kevin Sessums a secret she’d shared with Giant co-star James Dean, who died at age 24 in a car crash before the movie even made it to the theaters. “I loved Jimmy,” she said of Dean. “I’m going to tell you something, but it’s off the record until I die. Okay?” Taylor continued. “When Jimmy was 11 and his mother passed away, he began to be molested by his minister. I think that haunted him the rest of his life. In fact, I know it did. We talked about it a lot. During Giant we’d stay up nights and talk and talk, and that was one of the things he confessed to me.” When Sessums asked Taylor why she never wrote a memoir, she told him, “I would have to give up today and dive into yesterday. You can’t predict tomorrow. And my life has had so many startling tomorrows that I don’t think they’ve stopped.”

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Silver • March 25, 2011 @ 11:24 AM

    This seems a little odd. This isn’t her secret, it’s James Dean’s. Why did she think it was okay to let anyone know after her death? Is this what he wanted?

  2. C-Dub • March 25, 2011 @ 12:08 PM

    Exactly. It’s James Dean secret, not hers. She may have vaulted it for her lifetime (except to the interviewer) but wow, that really doesn’t affect her life, it affects his and his legend.

  3. Amanda • March 25, 2011 @ 1:49 PM

    Explains a lot about James Dean though. He certainly played a tortured soul well on the screen.

  4. mandee • March 25, 2011 @ 8:30 PM

    being molested is a terrible thing for anyone (ESPECIALLY a CHILD) to have to endure, i hate to hear that he didnt live his life long enough to get his childhood fears and feelings properly taken care of.

    i agree that she had no business telling anyone this or letting it be told after her death.

  5. Demigod • March 25, 2011 @ 9:35 PM

    Obviously James Dean didn’t want this known to the public and chose to confide with her only. Well done Taylor.

  6. Ally • March 27, 2011 @ 2:05 PM

    She should have kept Jimmy’s secret to her grave, im sure he wouldn’t have wanted anyone else but her to know.

  7. anonymous • March 28, 2011 @ 6:28 PM

    If James trusted Elizabeth with such a secret, I’m sure he would trust in her judgment to release it when she felt it necessary. We don’t know the discussions that were between the two of them and perhaps they had an understanding or would be ok with her disclosing this information at this time. How are any of us to know what James would have or have not wanted done with this information. We’re not to support, scold or discipline her for this. It’s not ours to own. If anything at all, perhaps we should show compassion and let’s hope it can stop the abuse from happening to another person.

  8. Silver • March 29, 2011 @ 9:00 AM

    Although anonymous is correct that we don’t know what discussions there were, it really seems strange that he would tell her to reveal ‘the secret’ after she died, rather than after he died. Why did she not tell it sooner? Why was this secret so painful to her? Why tell it at all? If the reason to tell it now was to stop the abuse from happening to another, it certainly didn’t stop any abuse that happened in the 50 plus years between his death and hers.

    This announcement just focuses more attention on her. But what do you expect from someone who apparently gave instructions to start her funeral 15 minutes late?

  9. rRita • March 30, 2011 @ 6:57 AM

    I’m pretty sure I know why she waited till after she died – to tell the Interviewer to tell the secret: she stated she doesn’t want to dive into the past – well, if she told it when she was alive, then a Lot of people would be Very Curious and be questioning her too much about it! Then that would be very painful for her to keep talking about Mr. Dean! Probably they would be questioning her about his interests and what he was really like!

    Who wants to keep the private past being dreched up time and time again?

  10. rRita • March 30, 2011 @ 7:32 AM

    I Wish he didn’t die at only 24 yrs. old! If he hadn’t died, then I could’ve seen him in movies as a kid/teenager!! I don’t blame her for keeping it a secret. Maybe he asked her to. If I would have been in the same predicament, I would have done the same thing. Then Elizabeth would be able to live her life in peace, without people questioning her too much. Sometimes memories need to stay memories or mysteries stay mysteries!.

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