Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli delivered some of the most heartwarming moments at the Oscars – but now a close friend says Liza was “sabotaged” backstage.
Liza Minnelli’s longtime friend Michael Feinstein claims the Broadway icon was “sabotaged” at the 2022 Oscars by being “forced” into a wheelchair, sparking concerns about his health.
During the March 27 live broadcast, Minnelli, 76, took the stage with Lady Gaga to present the Best Picture award. Apart from being in a wheelchair, he was also wrong on some of his teleprompter lines.
Feinstein, 65, allegedly via Sirius XM’s Jess Cagle . Show this week that Cabaret the star “only agreed to appear at the Oscars if he was going to be in the director’s chair, because he had back problems”.
The singer claimed Minnelli had stated that she wanted to “look good” and didn’t want people to “worry” about her, but just five minutes before she was set to appear in front of an audience, a stage manager told her she had to. use a wheelchair, Page Six report.
“I think they were all shaken up by everything that happened before,” Feinstein said, referring to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock.
Based on Hollywood Reporterhowever, there were several awards given between the moment the infamous incident occurred and Minnelli taking the stage.
Feinstein claims Cagle, 56, that his friend begged: “No, I won’t be seen in a wheelchair in front of everyone. I will not do this. I refuse to do this.”
Feinstein, who was backstage at the time, told Minnelli: “What do you want to do?”
He claims Minnelli replied, “I would,” but was “so shaken that he can’t speak”.
“He’s nervous,” Feinstein said. “I mean, and it makes it seem like he’s out of it. And he was very shaken by it.
“Can you imagine being suddenly forced to be seen by millions in a way you don’t want to? That’s what happened to him.”
Feinstein said Minnelli was “very disappointed” with what happened and shared that he was “really fine,” but “it’s a shame it turned out that way”.
An Academy Awards representative declined to comment. A Minnelli representative could not immediately be reached for comment.
However, Minnelli’s former publicist Scott Gorenstein, who helped bring the Oscar 2022 moment to life, previously said Posts“Liza is living her best life without being in front of the camera.
“He’s been under tremendous pressure his entire life to appear in front of an audience. The last few years have allowed him to relax and enjoy another phase of his life.”
Gorenstein noted that Minnelli had “had some health issues”, without elaborating on what they were, but said: “Liza is a legend and she deserves to be at the Academy Awards, so I put that in front of her people and recommend she do her.”
This story originally appeared on Page Six and is republished here with permission