Battle over Liz Taylor memoirs begins

Last Updated: Mar 25, 2011, 14:24 PM IST

London: It has not even been a week since Dame Elizabeth Taylor passed away, but book projects on her have already been brought forward.

British publishers Mainstream, JR Books, Macmillan and Faber are all prioritising biographies about Taylor to be published in the coming weeks.

Mainstream’s book, ‘Elizabeth Taylor: The Lady, The Lover, The Legend: 1932-2011’ by Hollywood biographer David Bret, is being released “imminently” with Mainstream’s managing director Bill Campbell claiming the author feared legal reprisals from Taylor because of its contents.

“We are the only new book,” the Independent quoted Campbell as saying.

“We have been holding it back because it is controversial in parts. Current libel laws would have prevented it. I would call it as much a tribute as it is revelatory,” he said.

Bret’s book claims Taylor “was the most controversial Hollywood icon since Mae West”, and contains revelations about the late actress’ mother, who it is alleged had lesbian affairs and romances with directors to win her daughter parts.

There are also allegations surrounding Taylor’s ex-husband Richard Burton’s “bisexuality” and the millions the former actress blew on houses, diamonds and yachts.

JR Books is bringing forward the paperback release of its 2010 title ‘Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and the Marriage of the Century’.

Pan Macmillan is reprinting 25,000 copies of its 2007 biography, ‘Elizabeth’.
Faber has brought forward by a year the paperback release of William J Mann’s ‘How to be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood’, originally scheduled for July 2012.

“She didn’t co-operate with our book, I don’t think she liked co-operating with them,” Faber editor Walter Donohue said.

“William spoke to people around her, people who had worked with her or her parents. There had been so much written about her private life, but ours was not about that,” he stated.