Actor Mickey Rooney not only slept with a 14-year-old Liz Taylor at the age of 24, but also lured the young actress onto the casting couch with the prospect of roles that did not exist, according to Australian journalist Craig Bennett — whose latest book paints the deceased Hollywood legend in a nightmarish light that rivals that of Harvey Weinstein.
Bennett's book, "True Confessions of a Shameless Gossip," profiles various celebrities he encountered over the years, but the star of the Andy Hardy films gets the worst of it, dispelling the myth of his much-ballyhooed "nice guy persona."
"In person, Mickey could be blisteringly bombastic. A former Hollywood PR friend of mine labeled Mickey abrasive, nasty, curt and rude," Bennett claims in his book, according to The Daily Mail.
Rooney worked through the Hollywood Golden Age alongside such talents as Judy Garland and Elizabeth Taylor. Despite working with such titans in stardom, Bennett says he had little regard for those he worked with and "spoke unkindly of almost everyone." But that's just the least of Rooney's alleged misdeeds; the actor apparently had such a penchant for bedding young starlets that he would literally set up fake auditions for roles that did not exist in order utilize the infamous "casting couch."
"Mickey almost wore out the casting couch," says Bennett.
None of it paid off for Rooney in the end, though, according to Bennett. He often battled addiction and gambled away much of his money. In his final years, he toured America doing a one-man show where he would do tell-alls about his former colleagues.
"Certainly it was clear he was doing the tell-all shows for the money," Bennett says of the actor's final years.
A 2015 biography of Rooney also alleged that he had an affair with actress Elizabeth Taylor when she was just 14 and he was 25. Throughout all eight of his marriages, Rooney had 11 children.
Rooney is not the only Hollywood legend to have his alleged dark side revealed. Last year, a former Hollywood sex worker, 95-year-old Scotty Bowers, made some wildly outrageous claims about some of the industry's biggest stars from the Golden Age era, alleging he had sex with Cary Grant and arranged lesbian hook-ups for Katherine Hepburn.
“I f****d Bette Davis in World War II when she was married to a guy," Bowers claimed in a documentary. "I used to fix her up with tricks, and we used to have three-way deals. I went to bed with J. Edgar Hoover. He was in drag. He was not a great beauty either, you know, but I was treating him just like he was a girl."
Bowers' statements about Cary Grant and Rock Hudson, along with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, were even more shocking.
"One day Cary Grant was in the gas station and Rock Hudson just happened to be there, so Cary Grant picked him up," Bowers said. "I fixed him up with Rock for 20 bucks, and Rock saw him several times. This is before Rock had any money."
"Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, I never tricked them together. I would fix them up with guys, and then I would see her at Gary Cukor’s house. She would come in and quietly open the gate and be like, 'Shh.' Ten minutes later I’m f***ing her and she’s screaming."