Liza Minnelli was “sabotaged” at the Oscars, says her friend Michael Feinstein.
The 65-year-old singer claims that the ‘Cabaret’ icon appeared on stage at the 94th Academy Awards to present the Best Picture prize with Lady Gaga to ‘CODA - in a wheelchair instead of the director’s chair she was promised due to her “back trouble”.
Liza's long-time collaborator Feinstein claims the Academy let his friend down by not fulfilling their promise to allow her to appear on stage in a director's chair as was agreed prior to the event.
Appearing on SiriusXM’s ‘The Jess Cagle Show’, he said: "You know, that whole thing was, she was sabotaged. That’s the terrible word to use, but she only agreed to appear on the Oscars if she would be in the director’s chair, ’cause she’s been having back trouble.
"She said, ‘I don’t want people to see me limping out there.’ She said, ‘You know, I wanna look good. I don’t want people to worry about me.'”
Feinstein asserted that the 76-year-old performer - who is the daughter of the late Hollywood legend Judy Garland and her second husband Vincente Minnelli - was forced out in a wheelchair because the event’s production team were “shaken up” after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock.
He said: “And then literally, literally five minutes before she went on, when she sat in the director’s chair back there, and because every, I guess they were all shaken up because of everything that had happened earlier, the stage manager said, ‘Well, she has to be in a wheelchair’ and Liza pleaded.”
Feinstein revealed that the ordeal “made her look like she was out of it”, which was not the case, and the experience upset Liza.
He said: “She was nervous. I mean, and it made her look like she was out of it. And she was just so shaken up that it was. Can you imagine being suddenly forced to be seen by millions of people the way you don’t wanna be seen? That’s what happened to her. And she was very disappointed at that, that that happened and it was not what was agreed to.”
Feinstein assured everyone that Liza is “doing well” and called it a “shame” how it played out.
He said: “So she’s, she is really doing well and it’s a shame that it turned out that way. She was very disappointed.”