Scott Thorson revealed his life as the toyboy lover of flamboyant pianist Liberace, describing it as a whirlwind of extravagance and excess.
Their outrageous lifestyle, captured in new film Behind The Candelabra, makes the latest breed of bling-loving celebrities look tasteful and understated.
But after five dazzling, rhinestone-encrusted years together, Scott Thorson claimed he was dumped like “a piece of trash”.
Scott Thorson lost it all and began a downward spiral into d**gs, crime and the odd spell behind bars.
The tattooed 54-year-old, who is battling colon cancer, was in jail in Reno, Nevada, for burglary when the acclaimed film – based on his book of the same name – was shown on US TV last month.
Director Steven Soderbergh revealed that the movie was rejected as “too gay” by every major American studio, before being snapped up by cable channel HBO – which is why it went straight to TV in the US and did not get a cinema release there.
Of casting Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson, Steven Soderbergh joked: “I needed to see Jason Bourne on top of Gordon Gekko.”
Scott Thorson was just 17 when he met 58-year-old Liberace backstage after one of his Las Vegas shows in 1977.
He soon moved in with the musician in his lavish, custom-built Las Vegas palace.
On the bedroom ceiling was a reproduction of the fresco in Rome’s Sistine Chapel – but the cherubs all had Liberace’s face.
At the peak of his powers, Liberace was the world’s best-paid entertainer and owned 39 pianos, 32 cars and 26 dogs.
Scott Thorson says: “He built a 70,000 sq ft palace in Las Vegas for me, filled with the world’s most expensive treasure – $25million worth of antiques.
“A well-known artist spent a year painting the Sistine Chapel fresco on the ceiling.
“Even the Queen and the Queen Mother were big fans of his.
“When he played the London Palladium I went into the Royal Box to use the toilet, just so I could say I had used the Queen’s bathroom. They sent us lots of gifts – including a Welsh Corgi.”
Scott Thorson was even given a minor role in TV’s The Liberace Show, driving the pianist on stage in a jewel-encrusted Rolls-Royce while wearing a white chauffeur’s outfit.
His relationship with Liberace was bizarre to say the least.
The world-famous showman got a plastic surgeon to make Scott Thorson look more like his son, and put him on a cocktail of diet pills.
Scott Thorson reveals: “He had to throw the Press off, so he <<adopted>> me, changed my face so I looked more like him.
“He didn’t want people to realize I was his lover – he wanted them to think I was his son.
“I was given cheek implants and a new chin so I would resemble him.
“He took me to this plastic surgeon and he wanted me to lose weight. The doctor put me on the Hollywood diet. It contained pharmaceutical c***ine and Demerol to bring me down. Liberace agreed to all this.
“Then, when I became addicted and he was worried I was out of control and would tarnish his image, he threw me out like I was a piece of trash.
“In the movie it says he offered me rehab, but he didn’t.
“I was living in the penthouse in LA and they hired guards to throw all my personal belongings off the balcony and discard me.”
In 1982 Scott Thorson took Liberace to court in a bitter “palimony” suit. Later he settled for $93,000, some jewellery, custody of two dogs and a gold-plated Rolls-Royce he had been given as a 21st birthday gift.
But the split plunged him from the dizzy showbiz heights to the depths of despair.
Scott Thorson, who survived being shot five times during a robbery in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1991, even accuses the team behind the film – including its stars – of neglecting his cries for help during his most recent spell behind bars.
Instead Dennis Hof, who owns the infamous Bunny Ranch br***el, last week posted bail for Scott Thorson.
Scott Thorson says: “Hollywood turned its back on me. Matt Damon or Michael Douglas would not bail me out, even though I offered to talk to them about the film.
“I need to put money back into my pocket. I didn’t make much out of the movie. I own a small percentage of the film but Hollywood is notorious for padding the bill so it shows no profit.”
Biopic Behind the Candelabra was a big hit when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. It pulled in 2.4million viewers when it aired in the US on HBO – the largest audience for an original movie on the channel in almost a decade. It opens in cinemas across Europe today.
Scott Thorson says: “It has been a big success, all these European companies have picked it up. So for the filmmakers to say they haven’t made a dime would be a big mistake – especially with my mouth.
“I went after Liberace, so I’m not scared.
“I was whisked out of jail when Dennis Hof paid my bail. He turned up with five Bunny Girls to pick me up in this big limousine.
“The first night we went up to Dennis’s private residence in the ranch and I watched the film for the first time. I was blown away.
“Matt Damon did a great job playing me. And he did a great job in bed with Douglas, too.”
The film ends when the pair are reunited on Liberace’s deathbed just before he passed away from pneumonia caused by AIDS in 1987.
Scott Thorson’s life has had some twists and turns that are not in the film. For starters, he claims he had a romance with Michael Jackson.
He said: “Liberace introduced me and Michael in the late 1970s. It was right around the time Thriller was coming out and Michael and I became lovers.
“Our relationship went on for six or seven years. Michael was very generous too. He treated me well.
“Liberace and I had both undergone plastic surgery around the same time Michael underwent a nose job because he didn’t think he was handsome. We all healed together at the Liberace compound in Palm Springs.”
Also in his eventful life, Scott Thorson was put in witness protection after testifying against his d**g dealer Eddie Nash in 1981, changing his name to Jesse Marlow.
He said: “I’ve survived being shot five times, overdoses, and I’ve tried to commit suicide. But I’ve survived to tell my story.”
Life for Scott Thorson at the moment, at the Bunny Ranch, is the most exotic it has been for years.
He said: “There are 22 acres with stables, a gymnasium, a personal trainer, Jacuzzi, swimming pool and lots of beautiful people.
“They have built a great team around me and I am drug free for the first time in many years. It’s been about 110 days.
“There are so many beautiful women here. I’m having lots of Bunny Ranch therapy.
“These girls are so gorgeous I could end up turning straight.
“I haven’t lived the dream like this since I lived with Liberace.
“I feel right at home.”