Despite making headlines for a multitude of reasons throughout her career, Elizabeth Taylor lived her life with no “regrets,” Nanette Burnstein, director of Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes, exclusively told Closer at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 11.

“She lived her life fully,” Burnstein added. “She made mistakes. She learned from them. And I think at the end of the day she had a pretty amazing life.”

Among her “mistakes” were several failed romances with Hollywood costars, as well as her marriage to Conrad “Nicky” Hilton Jr.

“The wedding was lovely. Then came disillusionment. Also a few split lips,” Taylor said in the tapes featured in the film, which will be released on HBO on August 3. “Nick was always in a tantrum. I couldn’t go back to that life of such mental and physical abuse and our marriage was over and done with.”

The National Velvet actress was married to the hotel heir from 1950 to 1951, one of her eight marriages throughout her life. “I was in love with being in love … infatuated with love,” she said of their union. But things got sour, with “his kicking me in the stomach and causing me to have a miscarriage.”

Taylor became one of the first Hollywood stars whose personal life made headlines more than her work.

“You know, she talks about it in the film. She’s like, ‘I can’t control the media. I’m not even gonna try. It’s not gonna work.’ People are gonna believe what they’re gonna believe and you can’t change their mind about it,” Burnstein said. “That was her feeling. So she just kind of lived with it.”

She was married and divorced twice to Cleopatra costar Richard Burton, whom she was determined to make things work with.

“I know Elizabeth would have tried a third time,” author Kate Andersen Brower previously told Closer. “I’ve wondered if she was more dedicated to him than he was to her.”

Elizabeth Taylor Had No 'Regrets'
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From her marriages, Taylor became a mom of four children, Michael Wilding Jr., Christopher Edward Wilding, Liza Todd and Maria Burton.

“I think that her relationship with her mother, who was very dominant, pushed her into doing things that were difficult,” Taylor’s granddaughter Naomi deLuce Wilding told Closer in November 2023. “She learned her own strength from a young age. That’s how she was able to push through tragedy and illness. She believed you just keep going.”
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“In a lot of ways, she had a very charmed life,” Brower said. “The flip side is that she had a very sheltered existence; she couldn’t be a normal kid, she didn’t have many friends her age.”

Taylor’s image left the public divided, but she shared the biggest takeaway she had learned from the scrutiny she faced.

“Maybe because of my personal life I suggest something illicit, but I am not illicit, and I am not immoral,” she reflected. “I make mistakes, and I have paid for them. I know that I will never be able to pay the bill, but that is not something you can put in the story.”