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James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor appear in a still from their 1955 film, Giant. - Provided courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/Floyd McCarty

James Dean was molested by a minister, Elizabeth Taylor revealed posthumously

03/25/2011 by Olivia Allin

Elizabeth Taylor revealed in an interview 14-years ago that "Rebel Without a Cause" actor James Dean had been molested as a child, The Daily Beast reports.

The screen legend passed away on Wednesday, but details from a 1997 interview where she discussed her AIDS activism and James Dean were revealed on Friday, as Taylor had made the interviewer promise to keep it off the record until her death.

"I loved Jimmy," Taylor told Kevin Sessums who was writing a cover story for POZ magazine. "I'm going to tell you something, but it's off the record until I die. OK? When Jimmy was 11 and his mother passed away, he began to be molested by his minister. I think that haunted him the rest of his life. In fact, I know it did. We talked about it a lot. During "Giant" we'd stay up nights and talk and talk, and that was one of the things he confessed to me."

Taylor, Rock Hudson and the actor co-starred in Dean's the late actor's last film, "Giant," about a Texas cattle rancher (Hudson) who visits Maryland to buy a horse and falls in love with the owner's daughter (Taylor). The two are married and return to his ranch and the film follows their family's two-generation rivalry with a cowboy and future oil tycoon (Dean).

Dean was killed in a head-on collision on September 30, 1955 on Route 46 in San Luis Obispo County in California. Dean received his second posthumous 'Best Actor' Academy Award nomination for his role in "Giant," the first was for his 1955 film "East of Eden." This marked the first official posthumous acting nomination in Academy Award history.

In the posthumously released interview, Taylor also talked about how she got "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" writer Tennessee Williams to actually start making money from his screenplays.

"He thought he had himself a good deal," Taylor said. "He was getting 5 percent of the profits of the films of his plays. So I said, 'Tennessee, there is no such thing in the movie business as a profit, much less 5 percent of it. It's about the gross. Have you ever made any money off your films?' He said, no, he had not. 'Tennessee!' I screamed at him. 'That's why!' So I took him in hand. I loved him dearly."

Taylor was very candid with Sessums but admit that she could never tell-all in a memoir.

"I would have to give up today," she told Sessums. "And dive into yesterday. You can't predict tomorrow. And my life has had so many startling tomorrows that I don't think they've stopped."

Taylor was laid to rest on Thursday at a private funeral at Forest Lawn Cemetary near Los Angeles. She will be remembered for her iconic roles, AIDS activism and legendary beauty.

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