In 1982, Scott Thorson, Liberace's 22-year-old former chauffeur and alleged live-in lover of five years, sued the pianist for $113 million in palimony after he was let go by Liberace. Liberace continued publicly to deny that he was homosexual and insisted that Thorson was never his lover. The case was settled out of court in 1986, with Thorson receiving a $95,000 settlement. Thorson stated after Liberace's death that he settled because he knew that Liberace was in profoundly ill health, and that he had intended to sue based on conversion of property rather than palimony.
Thorson met Liberace in 1976, when he was 17, through his friendship with Hollywood film producer Ray Arnett. When Thorson was 17, Liberace hired him to act as his personal friend and companion, a position that allegedly included a five-year romantic relationship with lavish gifts, travel, and Liberace's promises that he would adopt and care for Thorson. Liberace also incorporated Thorson into his Las Vegas stage performances (e.g., Thorson drove Liberace's Rolls-Royce onstage, and was a dancer). According to Thorson, their committed relationship ended because of Liberace's sexual promiscuity and Thorson's drug addiction, brought on by Liberace's hiring a plastic surgeon to restructure Thorson's face to resemble a young Liberace, and the doctor's prescribing a c*cktail of highly addictive drugs, including cocaine, quaaludes, Biphetamine, and demerol post-surgery. Thorson also later suffered from Hepatitis C.
In 1982, Thorson filed a $113 million lawsuit against Liberace, part of which was a palimony suit. In 1986, Thorson and Liberace agreed to settle out of court for $95,000, two cars, and two pet dogs. He visited and reconciled with Liberace shortly before the entertainer's death in 1987. A year later, Thorson published a book about their relationship, Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace.
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