MICHAEL DOUGLAS snubs SCOTT THORSON, terminally ill former lover of piano legend LIBERACE – even though he’s starring in a movie based on a book written by the dying man!
Thorson, who was diagnosed with advanced anal cancer in August, was Liberace’s lover from 1976 to 1982. His book, “Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace,” is the basis of an upcoming HBO film that stars Douglas as the flamboyant performer.
But even though the “Wall Street” actor is a fellow cancer sufferer, sources say he rebuffed Thorson’s request to visit him on the set.
“All I wanted do was was meet Michael and talk to him about my cancer,” Thorson, 54, explained to The ENQUIRER. “But I was bluntly told it would be impossible. That really hurt.”
Thorson’s six-year romance with Liberace began when he was just 18 and the entertainer was 57. Thorson says he was showered with lavish gifts, expensive vacations and promises by Liberace to adopt and care for him.
But the relationship ended in 1982, when Thorson says he was dumped for a teenager.
Although “Behind the Candelabra” was published in 1988, a year after Liberace died of AIDS, Thorson says he didn’t find out until 2008 that producer Jerry Weintraub wanted to make a movie out of the book.
At the time, Thorson was serving time behind bars on a drug-related robbery and desperately needed money. He admits he got “a little up-front money and a small percentage” of the film sales.
While Thorson did his time, Weintraub assembled his team: Douglas as Liberace, Matt Damon as Thorson and director Steven Soderbergh.
In August 2010, Douglas was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer and the movie was put on hold. Thankfully, Douglas beat the cancer, and production began in the summer of 2012 in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Palm Springs. But Thorson says he was left out in the cold.
“I thought it was very strange that I was never contacted,” he said. “Then, about three months ago, I got one phone call from Jerry Weintraub when he found out that I had cancer. He said, ‘I’m very sorry that you’re going through cancer.’ And that was it.”
Thorson says he was immediately cut off when he asked if he could reach out to both Douglas and Damon. He said the indication was that Douglas – whose son Cameron is also in jail on drug charges – didn’t want him on the set, even as a consultant.
“It was clear that I wasn’t welcome,” he said. “My heart sank. These people were portraying me but I was a persona non grata. I’m angry.”
Thorson has undergone radiation and chemotherapy treatments, but the tumor remains, he says.
“Right now, I’m very scared,” Thorson admitted. “I’ve already run through the money I got for the movie and I’ve got nothing left.
“I don’t know if I’ll make it to the premiere in May…or if I’m even invited.”