Liberace's Former Lover Sentenced To Prison Over Failed Drug Tests

By McCarton Ackerman 01/31/14

After a surge in popularity with HBO's Behind the Candelabra, Scott Thorson now faces up to 20 years for violating his probation.

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Looks like Liberace’s former lover Scott Thorson will be kicking his drug addiction in prison. Thorson, who made it back into the headlines last year after being highlighted in the HBO film Behind the Candelabra, was sentenced to eight to 20 years behind bars after failing a court-ordered drug test while on probation for burglary and identity theft convictions. He had previously failed a court-ordered test last September after testing positive for meth, then failed two more drug tests in October and another in November. The final straw was when Thorson failed to enter an inpatient rehab facility that month and was arrested on Nov. 19.

He told a judge last September that his drug struggles had started up again due to his newfound celebrity status after Matt Damon portrayed him in the HBO film. “I’m just asking for another chance. I can’t help who I am,” he said. “I’m in show business. I attract these cameras.” Deputy District Attorney John Helzer urged for prison time at that same hearing, accusing Thorson of capitalizing on his publicity and declaring he was nothing more than “a story ... of accusation and manipulation and failure.”

Thorson’s struggles with drugs have carried on for several decades and resulted in several overdoses, but he told reporters last June that he had been sober for three months. In a bizarre twist, Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof bailed him out of a recent prison stint and put him up at the brothel. "I've survived to tell my story. They have built a great team around me and I am drug free for the first time in many years. It’s been about 110 days," he said at the time. "I haven't lived the dream like this since I lived with Liberace."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.