April 24, 2011 22:02:00 GMT
Larry Fortensky has opened up about the struggles he faced in his marriage to Dame Elizabeth Taylor as his humble background left him feeling intimidated by the superstar's wealth and fame.
The Hollywood legend, Elizabeth Taylor who died last month, met the building site labourer Larry Fortensky while they were both in rehab at the Betty Ford Clinic in California. They married in 1991 and spent five years as husband and wife before divorcing in 1996.
Larry Fortensky kept up his job during the early days of their romance and he now reveals Dame Elizabeth Taylor insisted on sending him a chef-prepared lunch in a limo, much to the amusement of his co-workers.
He tells Britain's Mail on Sunday, "It was so embarrassing. The guys would rib me about it. I'd tell her not to but she kept on doing it."
Fortensky also struggled to buy his wife presents and as she gifted him with cars and motorcycles, he attempted to buy her affordable but entertaining items: "I knew I couldn't compete with Elizabeth so I didn't try. When she gave me the (Harley Davidson) bike I gave her chocolate-covered roses. Another year I bought her a baby lop-eared bunny which she loved. When we went to England for her birthday I bought her a Shih-tzu called Sugar. She loved that dog."
He admits the marriage began to falter after he give up his job as he was never able to get used to the attention that came with marrying a famous actress. He adds, "Everywhere we went there were cameras. Elizabeth would put lipstick on constantly because she said she never knew when she was being photographed. I found it hard. It wasn't my cup of tea, those cameras everywhere. Elizabeth was used to it. I never got used to it."
But Fortensky still holds fond memories of their time together, including days when they would go for long rides on his motorcycle in California and escape her fame for a few hours: "She would wear a helmet and no one knew who she was. We could be alone and free... People would pretend not to know who she was. Elizabeth loved that. She loved a burger and a beer. She was down-to-earth, or at least as much as she could be for someone who'd been a star since she was a kid."