×

‘Behind the Candelabra’ Author Sentenced to Prison

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A former lover of Liberace who was the subject of the HBO film “Behind the Candelabra” has been sentenced to eight to 20 years in a Nevada prison for failing another court-ordered drug test while on probation for burglary and identity theft convictions.

Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan sentenced Scott Thorson on Wednesday after a string of bad drug tests capped by his failure to show up at a court-ordered treatment facility.

Flanagan originally suspended the prison sentence in July and gave Thorson a second chance in September after testing positive for methamphetamine, but he failed tests twice in October and again on Nov. 1. He was arrested Nov. 19 after violating an order to enter an inpatient treatment facility in Reno two weeks earlier, court records show.

Thorson, 54, whose real name is Jess Marlow, had admitted he was an addict but insisted he was determined to get sober when he tearfully appealed to the judge in September to spare him from prison.

“I’m just asking for another chance,” Thorson said, explaining he was dealing with his newfound celebrity stature.”

“I can’t help who I am,” he told the judge at the time. “I’m in show business. I attract these cameras.”

Flanagan said it would be his “last chance.”

“I’m not impressed — I don’t think anybody is — with this so-called celebrity status,” he said. “You’re just like any other addict who has committed a crime against a victim.”

Thorson had said his goal was is to write another book on the heels of his “Behind the Candelabra,” which was used as the basis for the HBO film of the same name that won the Golden Globe for best TV movie earlier this month. Matt Damon played Thorson in the film, and Michael Douglas, who donned the flamboyant costumes to play Liberace, claimed his fourth Golden Globe for his work.

Deputy District Attorney John Helzer said in urging prison time in September that Thorson had been trying to capitalize on his fame since he told arresting officers last year he couldn’t afford the bad publicity of going to jail.

“He’s not a celebrity. He’s a story,” Helzer said. “It’s one of accusation and manipulation and failure.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • "Trust Issues" - Dylan and Lizzie

    'Instinct' Canceled After Two Seasons

    CBS has canceled “Instinct” after two seasons. Series creator Michael Rauch announced the cancellation Friday on Twitter, writing, “I’m very sad to relay the news that @instinctcbs won’t be renewed for a 3rd season. We will double up this Sunday and our season/series finale will be Aug 25.” Rauch also thanked series stars Alan Cumming [...]

  • Maisel Day

    My Mostly OK Maisel Day (Column)

    When Amazon announced its first-ever Maisel Day, I was intrigued. For one day, Aug. 15, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” fans and Angelenos (fangelenos?) could hit up various restaurants, theaters and retailers throughout Los Angeles for special deals, all at 1959 prices. Among the gems: $2.50 makeovers, $0.99 pastrami sandwiches and $0.30 for a gallon of [...]

  • Nordisk Film & TV Fond Announces

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond Backs Joachim Trier, Ole Bornedal, Yellow Bird

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond has announced three features, two series and a documentary set to receive $1.4m in financing, as well as distribution, dubbing and cultural initiative support recipients. Doing so, it highlights some of the key titles moving forward in the Nordic region. Already backed by the Danish Film Institute’s largest ever grant [...]

  • TV News Roundup: 'Silicon Valley' Final

    TV News Roundup: 'Silicon Valley's' Final Season Sets October Premiere Date

    In today’s roundup, “Silicon Valley” returns to HBO on Oct. 27 and Quibi greenlights a new cooking competition show “Dismantled.” DATES The fifth season of Netflix‘s “Peaky Blinders” will premiere on the streamer Oct. 4. The newest season will continue to follow one gangster family in the lawless streets of Birmingham, UK during the midst [...]

  • Peter Fonda Dead: 'Easy Rider' Star

    Peter Fonda, Star of 'Easy Rider,' Dies at 79

    Two-time Oscar nominee Peter Fonda, who became a counterculture icon when he co-wrote, produced and starred in seminal 1969 road movie “Easy Rider,” then showed Hollywood he could act about three decades later in “Ulee’s Gold,” died on Friday from lung cancer at his home in Los Angeles. He was 79. His sister Jane Fonda [...]

  • CineLink Drama Brings High-End Series to

    CineLink Drama Brings High-End Series to Sarajevo

    When the organizers of the Sarajevo Film Festival’s CineLink Industry Days surveyed the local TV landscape several years ago, they recognized the chance to make an impact. “We decided five years ago that we need to do something,” says CineLink industry coordinator Armin Hadzic. “The [regional] TV and public broadcasters were coming from another age.” [...]

  • SCHOOLED - ABC's "Schooled" stars Bryan

    'Kids Are Alright' Creator Joins 'Schooled' Season 2 as Showrunner

    Tim Doyle is taking over as showrunner and executive producer on the upcoming second season of “Schooled” at ABC, Variety has confirmed. Doyle takes over from Season 1 showrunner and series co-creator Marc Firek, who has exited the series to focus on development. The news comes just months after Doyle’s 1970s-set comedy series, “The Kids [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content