A scandal between film legends Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney is revealed in his latest biography, The Life and Times of Mickey Rooney.
According to the book’s authors, Richard A. Lertzman and William J. Birnes, the 20-something-year-old Rooney had an affair with then 14-year-old Taylor while he was married to his second wife, Betty Jane.
— New York Post (@nypost) October 10, 2015
According to Pam McClenathan, friend and caregiver of Jane, Jane caught Taylor and Rooney red-handed engaged in a sexual act when she went to surprise him at the Hollywood film studios in Los Angeles during filming of National Velvet.
“Betty Jane… told me she went to visit Mickey at [an L.A. film studio] around June 1946. She had [the couple’s first son] Mickey, Jr. in tow and was pregnant with [second son] Timmy… When she opened the door to the dressing room, Elizabeth Taylor was on her knees giving Mickey a b*** **b.”
McClenathan said that after Jane saw Taylor and Rooney in the said position she filed for a divorce in which she got a big settlement.
“She got a top attorney and big settlement, but she really was not happy after that. She wanted a faithful husband.” Reportedly, Jane had asked to be paid $15,000 per year for 15 years, plus $12,000 in medical and legal costs. But she also got $25,000 cash settlement after her attorney had claimed that Rooney was fraudulently “hiding his real income and assets.”
In 1947, Jane filed for divorce citing mental cruelty. Rooney also admitted in Life is Too Short, that he treated their marriage in an “old-fashioned, male chauvinist pig solution: I kept Betty Jane home, barefoot and pregnant, literally.”
In 1949, Rooney and Jane were divorced, and eight days later Jane married Buddy Baker.
Meanwhile, Rooney had six other marriages that followed, rivaling Taylor’s seven.