A longterm friend of late acting legend Paul Newman has opened up about the star's final years in a new tell-all book.
A.E. Hotchner, Newman's close pal and business partner, has put pen to paper in Paul and Me: 53 Years of Adventures with My Pal, Paul Newman - which is due for release in March (10), 18 months after the star died, aged 83.
In the book, Hotchner documents the actor's rapid decline, and reveals how a bout of leukaemia in 2008 accelerated his demise.
A publishing source tells the National Enquirer, "Hotchner witnessed the beginning of the decline of Paul's health when he started to withdraw from commitments at age 80, announcing he was giving up acting because he could no longer remember lines.
"After celebrating his 83rd birthday in January 2008, Paul spiralled downward in the months that followed - and he had trouble breathing."
After undergoing lung surgery, Hotchner claims Newman contracted leukaemia and deteriorated quickly. The source adds, "Hotchner knew Newman was dying."
The author claims his pal died with just two regrets: missing the chance to reconcile with his drug addict son Scott, who died in 1978; and the fact that his father died before he became a successful actor.
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