LOS ANGELES (AFP) – "Rebel Without a Cause" screen legend James Dean was molested by his childhood minister, according to an interview with Elizabeth Taylor published Friday.
Hollywood icon Taylor, who died this week aged 79, revealed Dean's secret in an interview given 14 years ago, but requested that it not be published until after her death.
"I loved Jimmy. I'm going to tell you something, but it's off the record until I die. OK?" best-selling author Kevin Sessums quoted Taylor as saying, in the interview published by the Daily Beast online.
"When Jimmy was 11 and his mother passed away, he began to be molested by his minister. I think that haunted him the rest of his life. In fact, I know it did. We talked about it a lot.
"During 'Giant' we'd stay up nights and talk and talk, and that was one of the things he confessed to me," she said, referring to the movie in which Taylor and Dean co-starred.
Dean died in a car crash in 1955 at age 24, shortly after making "Rebel Without a Cause," in which he played Jim Stark, a teenager with a troubled past arriving in a new town.
He was nominated for two posthumous Oscars -- for "East of Eden" in 1956 and "Giant" in 1957.
Taylor died Wednesday from congestive heart failure, and was buried Thursday in the Forest Lawn celebrity cemetery near Los Angeles, resting place to generations of stars including her long-time friend, pop icon Michael Jackson.