This year’s edition of the Oscars received a lot of press due to one single event – the infamous slapping of Chris Rock by an enraged Will Smith. However, there were other moments throughout the ceremony that elicited more positive reactions from audiences and one of those moments belonged to Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli.
Minnelli has had serious health issues in the past but she made her appearance at the Oscars in a wheelchair to present the Academy Award for Best Picture which eventually went to CODA. After the aging actress had some minor problems during her speech, Lady Gaga whispered “I got you” to Minnelli and that video clip went viral.
Now, one of Minnelli’s friends – Michael Feinstein – has claimed that she was actually “forced” to attend the ceremony. “She was sabotaged,” Feinstein said on Tuesday, April 19th. “That’s a terrible word to use, but she only agreed to appear on the Oscars if she would be in a director’s chair, because she’s been having back trouble.”
According to Feinstein, Minnelli was very conscious about the image that she was going to be projecting at such a major event and she did not want to be seen limping. Feinstein recalled: “She said, ‘I don’t want people to see me limping out there.’ She said, ‘You know, I want to look good. I don’t want people to worry about me.'”
“She was nervous,” Feinstein added, addressing the issues Minnelli had while reading her speech during the presentation of the award, “and it made her look like she was out of it. Can you imagine being suddenly forced to be seen by millions of people the way you don’t want to be seen? That’s what happened to her.”
Watch the clip below.