Liza Minnelli forced to appear in a wheelchair against her will at the Oscars, friends claim

Liza Minnelli was “sabotaged” at the Oscars after being brought onto stage in a wheelchair against her will, her longtime collaborator claims.

That Cabaret the star appeared on stage in a wheelchair during the March awards show to present the prize for Best Picture, alongside Lady Gaga.

While viewers were touched by the interaction between the two, Minnelli’s friend, singer Michael Feinstein, has now claimed that the 76-year-old was “very disappointed” with the experience, which he said had a negative impact after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock. .

“He was sabotaged,” said Feinstein Jess Cagle . Show on Tuesday (19 April). “That’s a bad word to use, but he only agreed to appear at the Oscars if he was in the director’s chair, because he had back problems.

“He said, ‘I don’t want people to see me limping out there.’ He said, ‘You know, I want to look good. I don’t want people to worry about me.’”

Feinstein claimed that plans had been changed “literally five minutes before he continued”, however, after “everything that had happened before” when Smith jumped on stage and hit Rock.

“The stage manager said, ‘Well, he has to use a wheelchair’ and Liza begged. He said, ‘No, I won’t be seen in a wheelchair in front of everyone. I will not do this. I refuse to do this,’” Feinstein claims. “And they said, ‘Well, that or nothing.’”

Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli at the Oscars (AFP via Getty Images)

Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli at the Oscars (AFP via Getty Images)

Feinstein, who was with the legendary actor at the time, said: “He was so shaken he couldn’t move. He was nervous and it made it seem like he was out of it. And he was so shaken… Can you imagine being suddenly forced to be seen by millions of people in a way you don’t want to see? That’s what happened to him.

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“He was very disappointed with it, that it happened and it didn’t go as agreed. So he, he’s totally fine and it’s a shame it turned out that way. He was very disappointed.”

Independent have contacted the Academy and Minnelli representatives for comment.

Smith resigned from the Academy after an argument with Rock, saying: “I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprive the other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their outstanding work. I’m broken heart.”

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