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Liz Taylor? Illegal Pill Mill? Thank God!
When you think of Pill Mill, you likely think of the scary images that are conjured up by the Spin masters of the Drug War. The images commonly begin with the raids of an office or facility, with government agents carrying semi-automatic weapons with vests that read “DEA” or in the case of my state , “OBN” (Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics).
When you think of Elizabeth Taylor, you probably think of something totally different and unrelated to pill mill. You may think of her as a symbol of “Hollywood glamour” during its Golden Age. You may see a timelessly beautiful human specimen with eyes so deeply blue, they appeared violet, and a desirable, but rare genetic deformity that resulted in the doubling of her lash line. You may see the child who literally grew into womanhood in front of our eyes with powerful and memorable performances as an actor. Her many classic films include ‘Lassie Come Home”, ‘National Velvet’, ‘Cat on A Hot Tin Roof’, ‘Cleopatra’, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf‘, and ‘The Taming of the Shrew‘. And she kept becoming more and more beautiful as she made the transition from young actress to mature business woman, perfume and jewelry mogul and philanthropist.
The new picture that is emerging of Elizabeth Taylor is that she ran a Pill Mill. Yes, an illegal Pill Mill. The type of pill mill is different from the usual images that we have been served to us by the media. It appears to have been a ‘compassionate’ pill mill, bringing together people suffering from a newly described disease called AIDS , which had been affecting and killing many of her beloved friends, and potentially life-sparing medications which were not yet approved by the FDA. ‘Not approved’ meant ‘illegal’.
In an Entertainment Tonite Interview and reported by Jezebel, former supermodel and Liz Taylor protege Kathy Ireland reveals the nature of Liz Taylor’s Pill Mill in a befitting tribute to her on World AIDS Day. She describes the extent to which Liz Taylor sacrificed a lot, selling her own personal jewelry and opening up her Bel Air Mansion, to bring treatment with experimental medications to patients who were dying from the disease. She did so at great risk to her personal freedom. Ireland described her mentor as ‘fearless‘ and as a woman who would have willingly given up her freedom for this cause. She followed her moral compass rather than the law, and in the process, probably helped a number of people who did not have hope. It is compared to a West Coast version of Ron Woodroof’s Dallas Buyer’s Club. Time has judged her efforts as heroic and on the level of courageousness as other people who have saved lives like Harriet Tubman and Mother Theresa.
Her “underground network” to save lives was complemented by the work that we were already knew that she did in the name of AIDS Research. Taylor used the $1 Million dollars she received from People Magazine for her wedding pictures to her last marriage to Larry Fortensky to start the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which is dedicated to providing support services to HIV/AIDS patients and promoting greater awareness. Her involvement in the launching and stabilization of amfAR ( American Foundation for AIDS Research) is well-documented, as the formation of this critical warchest in AIDS research began in the living room of her friend Dr. Arnold Klein. To date, a significant portion of revenue for Elizabeth Taylor’s Image royalties go to support these agencies.
She still fights AIDS and ignorance even after death.
There may be people alive today who directly benefited from Liz Taylor’s illegal pill mill. Thank goodness it was never discovered and used as a politician’s political football.