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7 Shocking Bombshells From Upcoming Book About Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's Fiery Romance

biggest bombshells elizabeth taylor richard burtons romance book
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Feb. 2 2024, Published 5:37 p.m. ET

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Roger Lewis spills quite a bit of tea in his upcoming book Erotic Vagrancy: Everything About Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

The author spent 13 years putting together the memoir, which debuts on Tuesday, March 26, which is how he secured so many shocking stories about Elizabeth Taylor, her struggles and her doomed marriage to Richard Burton.

Scroll down to read seven bombshells from Lewis' work.

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She Tried to Commit Suicide Due to Anxiety Over a Potential Split

Taylor began having an affair with Burton when he was cast opposite her in Cleopatra. The infamous tryst was well publicized, and since the movie star was often worried Burton would dump her, she attempted to commit suicide by "trying to break through a glass door."

On another occasion, she overdosed on Seconal after he ended things.

Their first marriage lasted from 1964 to 1974, but after the divorce, they got hitched again in 1975. Things then fizzled after less than a year, prompting their second divorce.

biggest bombshells elizabeth taylor richard burtons romance
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Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton married and divorced each other twice.

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They Had Nasty Fights

Their complicated romance was marked by countless blowout fights.

Lewis claimed they often hurled insults at each other, with Burton calling Taylor "Miss T---" and a "fat little tart." The Oscar nominee also made fun of her for never receiving a proper education.

Taylor would label her beau a "boozed-up, burned-out Welshman" and allegedly hit him during some of their arguments.

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biggest bombshells elizabeth taylor richard burtons romance
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The duo met on the set of 'Cleopatra.'

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She Got Sick From Living in Filth

According to the book, the actress never looked after herself, with Truman Capote once claiming that when he visited her while they filmed Cleopatra in the '50s, one of her rooms was "crowded with shedding cats and unhousebroken dogs and a general atmosphere of disorderly paraphernalia."

The mess led to several health complications for the star, as she was once diagnosed with "Malta fever" or “brucellosis, which is caused by the ingestion of animal secretions — unpasteurized milk or undercooked meat."

Lewis said she likely contracted the disease from "slobbering" over her "innumerable and terrible pets, which shared her bed."

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biggest bombshells elizabeth taylor richard burtons romance
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Their romance started out as an affair.

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Taylor Was Obsessed With All Types of Animals

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Elizabeth Taylor

In addition to her beloved pooches, the Father of the Bride lead also owned a monkey, parrots, crabs, a chipmunk and a bush baby.

Lewis revealed she even tried to adopt an elephant when she was in Asia, though her fiancé at the time, Victor Luna, told her, "No, Elizabeth. You can’t take an elephant home."

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biggest bombshells elizabeth taylor richard burtons romance
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Taylor passed away at age 79 in 2011, while Burton died at 58 in 1984.

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Money Was No Object for the Couple

According to Lewis, Taylor required secretaries, makeup artists, photographers, nurses, butlers and more to travel with her. They allegedly spent around $800K each year for their staff, which Vogue said would be more than $6 million today.

When not at home, she would take up as much space as she wanted in a hotel — in fact, she reportedly once secured 21 rooms at the Hotel Lancaster in Paris.

Burton and his on-off spouse also bought a yacht — worth $1 million today — that featured "seven double-berth state rooms, three bathrooms and an armory containing sub-machine guns."

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Burton Paralyzed His Brother by Drunkenly Shoving Him

The writer disclosed that Burton once got into a heated fight with his older brother Ivan in 1968. Things became so chaotic that he shoved his sibling, leading him to fall and break his neck.

The incident resulted in Ivan being paralyzed from the neck down, and four years later, he died.

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Taylor's Husband Got Paid to Look After Her

Though the movie star secured the coveted lead role in Cleopatra, producers endured multiple hardships with her since she couldn't take care of herself. That's why the studio paid her husband at the time, Eddie Fisher, $150K to get her to set on time and ensure she stuck to a healthy diet.

However, Fisher had his own struggles, including drug use.

Page Six, Vogue and The Guardian obtained excerpts of Lewis' book.

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