In honour of World AIDS Day (December 1), Kathy Ireland opened up to Entertainment Tonight about her mentor and close friend, the late actress Elizabeth Taylor, who played a key part in helping HIV-positive patients. Ireland revealed that Taylor ran a Dallas Buyers Club-style underground network, providing patients with experimental HIV drugs. Which proves just how brave, determined and committed she was to helping others.
“Talk about fearless in her home in Bel Air”, Ireland said. “It was a safe house. A lot of the work that she did, it was illegal, but she was saving lives. She said her business associates pleaded with her, ‘Leave this thing alone.’ She received death threats. Friends hung up on her when she asked for help. But something that I love about Elizabeth is her courage”.
Taylor became a public advocate of the cause after her friend Rock Hudson died of AIDS in 1985 and is known for famously calling out President George H.W. Bush. “I don’t think President Bush is doing anything at all about AIDS. In fact, I’m not even sure if he knows how to spell ‘AIDS’”.
In 1991, Taylor founded the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation to help raise awareness through education and to support organisations delivering care and services to people living with HIV and AIDS. Elizabeth Taylor passed away in 2011 at the age of 79 but her legacy and work lives on through her amazing humanitarian work.