Tuesday, 3 February 2015

ROCK HUDSON & THE REAGANS: NICE NANCY & REVOLTING RONNIE


I broke this story eleven years ago when I wrote Rock's biography, and much was said about in the press and on the radio at the time. So why bring this up now? Is Nancy about to join her loathsome, sneering husband? If so, they will not be sitting on the same cloud.

What happened is this. Nancy WAS on Rock's side. When he was desperately ill, dying almost, he received a call from Nancy who wanted to accompany Liz Taylor to the Castle, Rock's home. Arch-homophobe Ronnie, through his advisers, stopped her, declaring that such an 'unconventional meeting' would only offend the moral majority. Rock delivered a statement via his spokesman,Tom Clark, to journalists at the gate of his home:
 
'Reagan is yet to actually say the word AIDS in public. He and his people are so afraid of the Far Right, Fuck them all!'
 
So there you have it: Saint Nancy and Satan Reagan, currently residing one hopes--along with those tabloid journalists who penned some of the most poisonous headlines of the last century--in the Fiery Lake of Hades.

Nancy Reagan Turned Down Rock Hudson's Dying Plea For AIDS Treatment

Nancy Reagan Turned Down Rock Hudson's Dying Plea For AIDS Treatment
Nancy Reagan turned down a desperate plea for medical help from actor Rock Hudson as he was dying from AIDS, Buzzfeed has reported.
The then-deputy press secretary for the Reagan administration Mark Weinberg has said that he was contacted by Hudson’s publicist Dale Olson in July, 1985.

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After collapsing in Paris, the screen legend had been trying to access experimental drug treatment for AIDS being used in France, at the Percy Military Hospital.
A doctor there, Dominique Dormont, had secretly treated Hudson for the disease before his diagnosis had gone public, news that – along with the revelation that Hudson was gay – would shake Hollywood.
However, he had been turned down a transfer to the hospital as he was not French.
Olson sent a pleading telegram to the Reagans – Hudson had been friends with the President since his days as an actor – hoping they could help.
“Commanding general of Percy Hospital has turned down Rock Hudson as a patient because he is not French,” it read.
“Doctor Dormant in Paris believes a request from the White House or a high American official would change his mind.”
“I knew the Reagans knew Rock Hudson, obviously from their years in Hollywood, and for that reason I decided to call her,” said Weinberg.
However, the First Lady said they would not help Hudson.
“The view was, ‘Well, we’re so sorry’,” said Weinberg.
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“And she was, they were both very sorry for Rock’s condition and felt for him and all the people. But it just wasn’t something that the White House felt that they could do something different for him than they would do for anybody else.
“She did not feel this was something the White House should get into and agreed to my suggestion that we refer the writer to the U.S. Embassy, Paris.”
Hudson died just nine weeks later.
Weinberg has insisted, however, that the decision was ‘nothing to do with AIDS or AIDS policy’ of the Reagan government, which was slated at the time for its inaction over fighting the disease, and had cut $10 million from its spending on the disease that same year.
“In fairness - and I’m not saying this to you, just to people - remember where the country was in the 80s,” Weinberg added.
“We talk about it now: ‘How could he?’ Nobody knew, nobody understood. It was all brand new back then.”
LGBT activist Peter Staley told Buzzfeed that the decision was ‘strange’.
“I’m sure if it had been Bob Hope in that hospital with some rare, incurable cancer, Air Force One would have been dispatched to help save him,” he said.
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“There’s no getting around the fact that they left Rock Hudson out to dry. As soon as he had that frightening homosexual disease, he became as unwanted and ignored as the rest of us.”
After flying back to the US, Hudson died on October 2, 1985, little over a year after being diagnosed with HIV.

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Image credits: Rex Features

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