Longtime Friend Says Liza Minnelli Was ‘Sabotaged’ At 2022 Oscars

Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli at the 94th Oscars (screen capture)
Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli at the 94th Oscars (screen capture)

While most people focused on the Will Smith/Chris Rock slap at this year’s Oscars, some folks became concerned when the legendary Liza Minnelli appeared in a wheelchair alongside Lady Gaga to present the statue for Best Picture.

Liza seemed a bit confused although Lady Gaga handled the legend with great grace.

Now, Minnelli’s longtime friend, five-time Grammy Award nominee Michael Feinstein, has shared the details of what actually happened just moments before the Cabaret star took to the stage in an appearance on SirusXM’s “The Jess Cagle Show” that aired Tuesday.

“She was sabotaged,” Feinstein said

“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. 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.’”

But following Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, chaos ensued backstage and a stage manager told Minnelli she had to use a wheelchair instead.

“I guess they were all shaken up because of everything that had happened earlier,” Feinstein told Cagle.

Feinstein says Minnelli was adamant about not using the wheelchair telling him, “No, I will not be seen in a wheelchair in front of everybody. I will not do this. I refuse to do this.”

Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli at the 94th Oscars (screen capture)
Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli at the 94th Oscars (screen capture)

But with things happening quickly and with little time to discuss, Minnelli finally agreed to go ahead with presenting the award even though she was “so shaken that she was discombobulated.”

“She was nervous. I mean, and it made her look like she was out of it,” continued Feinstein. “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.”

Once the trophies had been handed out, Feinstein says Liza Minnelli was left feeling “very disappointed” by how the appearance went down.

He added that Liza is “really doing well” now, but “it’s a shame that it turned out that way.”