Elizabeth Taylor will long be remembered for her early and persistent AIDS research advocacy. She started the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation and relentlessly raised tens of millions of dollars for research and treatment. She recruited high-profile celebrities to the cause and now one of those celebrities, model and entrepreneur Kathy Ireland, is spilling a long-held secret—Elizabeth Taylor ran an underground and illegal AIDS safe house:
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Ms Ireland said: ‘Talk about fearless, at her home in Bel-Air. It was a safe house. A lot of the work she did, it was illegal, but she was saving lives.
‘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 love about Elizabeth is her courage.’
Patients gathered in Elizabeth Taylor’s Bel-Air mansion for treatment at the height of the AIDS crisis. To pay for the treatments, she secretly sold some of her most well-known possessions:
Well known for her love of extravagant diamonds, Ms Ireland claims Taylor even sold her beloved jewellery collection to fund the operation.
‘She would sell jewellery, there was transfers of money.’
The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation is still going strong. Her children and grandchildren are working for the foundation to continue the work she started.