Elizabeth Taylor ran a ‘secret underground HIV drugs network’ in her home
Hollywood legend Dame Elizabeth Taylor ran a ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ style HIV medication network out of her home according to her mentee Kathy Ireland.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Ireland talked openly about Taylor’s work for those diagnosed with the virus, which included selling jewellry to buy experimental HIV medication and distributing the drugs out of her home.
“Talk about fearless, at her home in Bel Air it was a safe house,” Ireland said.
“And a lot of the work that she did, it was illegal, but she was saving lives. She said her business associates pleaded with her ‘leave this thing alone’
“She received death threats, friends hung up on her when she asked for help, but something I loved about Elizabeth is her courage.”
Taylor was a close friend of fellow Hollywood star Rock Hudson, who told the world he was dying of AIDS in 1985.
Since then the Taylor became well known for her HIV related activism, and was one of the first well known celebrities to acknowledge the disease.
She also campaigned heavily for HIV related healthcare, and established several charities and research foundations aimed at combatting the virus including the National AIDS Research Foundation and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
“She would go, quietly, with no media, no press, she would go into hospice and she would hug patients who had just not felt that human contact” Ireland explained.
Taylor died in 2011, and was hailed as an “extraordinary gay rights ally” by many.
Earlier this year her granddaughter said that Taylor would be “horrified” at HIV levels in gay men today.