Cher on love, tattoos, politics, paparazzi and Vegas

 
MALIBU, Calif. — Draped Cleopatra-style across a plush sofa, Cher accepts hot raspberry tea from an assistant upstairs in her Italian Renaissance Revival villa, a magnificent 16,000-square-foot estate spread across a bluff offering splendid views of mountains and the Pacific.

A cabinet nearby displays impressive career hardware: a Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, Golden Globes. With these laurels, this luxury and an estimated worth of $600 million, it’s understandable that fans and showbiz pundits assume Cher slipped into retirement after her exhaustive and exhausting Farewell Tour ended three years ago.

As she has demonstrated for four decades, Cher is not the retiring type. Starting May 6, she’ll be center stage in The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, strutting sass and sequins in an audiovisual extravaganza. She’s leaving her seaside paradise and heading to Las Vegas with a high-tech, high-stepping, high-stakes gambol, daring detractors once again to declare her obsolete.

“On every list, I was always on my way out,” she says. It’s one reason the singer/actress/entertainer is particularly proud of her status as a gay icon.

“Gay men understand that I understand what it’s like to be an outsider,” says Cher, who’ll pop up Sunday as a presenter on the Grammy Awards. “To singers, I wasn’t a singer. To actors, I wasn’t an actor. I know what it’s like to fight for your place. Besides, gay men are very choosy, and they have great taste.”

She’s scoring fashionista points today for her flashy ensemble: sparkly tie, black vest and pants, fingerless gloves, lace stockings and leopard-print stilettos. At 61, Cher is not dressing, or acting, her age.

“How did this happen?” she says of her march into the Social Security zone. “I used to be the youngest one around. I remember talking to my grandmother when she was in her 80s, and I said, ‘How does it feel?’ She said, ‘I only notice it when I go to the mirror.’ She was up for anything. So am I. I’d better do what I can do while I can do it.”

Cher is especially determined to pull off a dazzling show after recovering last year from another debilitating bout of Epstein-Barr virus.

“I was sick a long time,” she says. “I went to Germany for some medicine and treatment. They have things overseas we never dreamed existed. When I was first diagnosed in the late ’80s, I had doctors telling me I was crazy. I was sick constantly and almost died from pneumonia. You never lose it, and it really takes the life out of you.”

Before she fell ill, Cher spent her post-Farewell days vacationing with friends, going to movies, watching TV (C-SPAN, History Channel, classic films), hanging out with daughter Chastity and son Elijah Blue and raising awareness and money for Operation Helmet. She also had a tattoo removed.

“It wasn’t a good one,” she says. “I might take some more off. When I got tattooed, only bad girls did it: me and Janis Joplin and biker chicks. Now it doesn’t mean anything. No one’s surprised. I got a tattoo right after I left Sonny (Bono) and I was feeling real independent. That was my badge.”

She also cleaned house, emptying her mansion for a Sotheby’s/ Julien’s auction that was expected to fetch about $1.5 million. The 780 lots, including art, jewelry, Bob Mackie costumes and a Gothic brass bed, brought in $3.5 million.

“I think about some of those things from time to time, but I don’t miss them in the way you miss a friend,” she says. “I have a soft spot for certain things and wonder where they are. But I didn’t let go of anything that really meant something. And I think it’s nice that people are taking special care of particular things they wanted. I found things or they found me, I had them for years, and now they’re on another journey.”

Cher’s journey has taken her farther from designer boutiques and deeper into activism. She and close pal Lou Dobbs often discuss politics. She has worked for Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and John Kerry. Though she’s committed to Hillary Clinton, Cher isn’t beholden to Democrats.

“I’m supporting her because I know her and I like her and she’s smart and a tough girl,” Cher says. “But I don’t have much respect for either party. I just think Republicans are worse.”

To gear up for Vegas, Cher is training on her beloved Power Plate fitness machine and plans to reintroduce yoga to her regimen. Once the show is rolling, she’s keen to record an album and perhaps direct a script she has eyed for years. She’s not dating but hasn’t ruled out a third stroll to the altar.

“I’m not looking for it, but I was never looking for it,” she says, noting that her taste in men hasn’t changed. “I like someone who’s really funny, kind, intelligent; the other things are less meaningful.”

She doesn’t consider herself unapproachable.

“I find that men are intimidated by who they think I am,” she says. “One night, Michelle Pfeiffer and I wanted to go out dancing, so we went to a club, sat down, and no one asked us to dance. I thought, this is crazy. Two of my gay friends came in and we danced with them for an hour. You have this baggage that comes with your image.”

Famous since 19, Cher only recently found alarming side effects of celebrity.

“The paparazzi have moved into my town,” she says. “I used to be able to run around in my sweats. Now I’m a prisoner. I think ‘scum’ is a perfect word for these people. They’re meaner now. Before, they would be happy to get a picture. Now they want something salacious or to make you look bad.

“Everything’s more mean-spirited now. My sister was telling me about a show that hooks people up to lie detectors (Fox’s The Moment of Truth). I don’t like reality shows. I saw American Idol one time and said, ‘Well, I never need to see this again.’ I thought it was boring. I wasn’t entertained.”

Cher’s confident she’ll reclaim an entertainment niche in a culture awash in trash TV and tabloids. But her shrine of shiny awards hasn’t entirely erased her misfit issues.

“In my business, you’re only as good as what you do today,” she says. “But I think people like me. People feel friendly toward me, maybe because I’ve been around most of their lives. And their parents’ lives.”


CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR NEW CHER LAS VEGAS SITE!!

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48 Responses to Cher on love, tattoos, politics, paparazzi and Vegas

  1. Chers_girl

    I love Cher, God knows, but honestly!! Take that bad wick off her and STOP retuch that beatiful ladie!! I miss her long black hear – and I would LOVE to see a bit of grey – just a tuch, like “believe”. Can’t wait to meet all you wonderfull Cherfans out there 🙂 See ya.

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  2. fan forever

    I am so glad you’re back, Cher. I have been a fan since the ’60s and can’t wait to see you in Vegas. I only hope that this time, I might be able to meet you and thank you in person for the many years of exhilirating, emotion-stirring entertainment you have given me. Whether in music or on the silver screen, you are dynamite. I love your deadpan honesty, how you hold on to your privacy as much as possible, and mostly the fact that you have never let show business run you. You care about people and you truly get “the little folks.”

    See you in Vegas!!!

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  3. amy

    All I feel the urge to say, and all I feel I have to is that, she is someone who I respect for both her talent and her honesty…That, I believe is where an idol should lay in a persons mind. It is uneeded to cling to every bit of what they say or do but I think out of respect for thoughs that we respect it is often enough to be gracious for their talent and for having the guts to be who they are in a world that isn’t always forgiving of the REAL thing.

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  4. Diwon

    This is a Cher

    O Gad

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  5. Miguel

    I love the new look !!!!!where we can found all these new pictures??????where?in a magazine?????

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  6. This is great news! I love cher!!

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  7. Kuno

    This is great news! I love cher!!

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  8. Kuno

    This is great news! I love cher!!

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  9. httone

    Finally……………….

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  10. cher you rock sweet i really really really really really happy that you are loads better from what you where honey we would have been really really really really up set if any thing would have happen to you cher we all love you very much and we cant wait to see you do your show girl you go girl love always danni cher fan for life

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  11. a_trevi

    I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  12. T.j

    FABULOUS AS EVER N U KNO IT BABE LOVE YOU

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  13. Vince

    This has been like the most exciting day in my life! Might i add she looks AMAZING in this photo! ROCK ON CHER!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!

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  14. I CAN SOUND JUST LIKE HER

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  15. I CAN SOUND JUST LIKE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  16. I CAN SOUND JUST LIKE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  17. Hi Cher, you look terrific (as usual) and the news about you appearing in Vegas is absolutely wonderful. Of course, us guys over here in the U.K are the last to hear it – AGAIN – and if you haven’t got a pc or sky tv, well frankly you are well and truly out of luck. We hear absolutely nothing about you which isn’t fair really cos a lot of us have been around as long as you and have followed your career, your up’s and your downs and been there to support you. Go girl, it isn’t likely we can get to America since I am disabled and bringing up two grandchildren now, and frankly the pennies we get really doesn’t cover flights to the U.S.A. Wish it did. Anyway, we will be buying pictures, the dvd of the show and of course anything else. Good luck, get out there and kick some ass and show them how it is done. Best wishes. Jan – U.K.

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  18. LALITO

    THATS MY CHER… I LOVE YOU…

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  19. LALITO

    THATS MY CHER… I LOVE YOU…

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  20. Do you have any info on treatment for the epstein barr virus, I’ve been suffering with it for over a year now.All the doctor’s tell me It just has to run it’s course.I was hoping you could help,I don’t have insurance because I’m unable to work. Thank you for your time. Patricia

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  21. tory Hall

    Cher, I have admired you for years – my idol… I, too, have recurring Epstein Barre Virus and would liek to go to the clinic in Germany where you were treated as i too have heard they are so much more advanced there. I feel like the times I am sick, my life is taken away from me and I have always lived life to its fullest and believe in your saying: “Life is not a dress rehearal!”

    Please reply?
    Thanks you!
    Tory

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  22. hi im here to say cher is wicked cool

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  23. hi im here to say cher is wicked cool

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  24. hi 30 year old cher fan casey oneill love chers music shes my idol

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  25. hi 30 year old cher fan casey oneill love chers music shes my idol

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  27. maritz

    love you and your music i will be in vegas in may and going to see you no matter what

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  28. tatycher

    hi ! my diva, yo tengo muchas ganas de ir a ver la en las vegas, pero no puedo irme
    y yo voy vibrar por aka mismo en spain…mais no voy desistir en conocerte algun dia alograre
    en ver su show…I LOVE YOU. you the best and beautiful. by diva
    suerte…

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  31. Well I’m only 17 and I’m betting off some of my closest possessions to see cher.I live in West Virginia and I am flying to Vegas next year to see her. It will cost me $7,965 to go but I’ve worked my ass off and I love Cher. Anyone wanna talk? My myspace is http://www.madonna.com/madonna_luver i love madge too but cher’s my god

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  32. David Alaniz

    I was hoping should would not stop singing. Its sad that I wont be able to see her this year. But who knows she my just take another WORLD TOUR. I hope she comes back to SAN ANTONIO I LOVE ALL OF HER MUSIC….. NOW SHE IS A TRUE DIVA….

    David
    From San Antonio Texas

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  33. David Alaniz

    I was hoping should would not stop singing. Its sad that I wont be able to see her this year. But who knows she my just take another WORLD TOUR. I hope she comes back to SAN ANTONIO I LOVE ALL OF HER MUSIC….. NOW SHE IS A TRUE DIVA….

    David
    From San Antonio Texas

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  34. Hi Cher….I still love you doll,and las Vegas is the place I alwas thought we would get married at….just say the word and it will happen….you need to contact me though because your to hard to contact,but if you will do that,it will be benificial for us both….I promise….Love you.Ronnie-o

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  35. Jay

    Hey Cher, for years I’ve tried to contact you, but my 2 letters must not have made it. I didn’t want to write over & over again, or you’d think I was a wacko. I have adored you for years, yours is about the only music I ever listen to. You have a way of touching my soul with your voice…..like we are soulmates…..yes, I know you’ve heard it before, but I sincerely believe in my heart, I knew you in a past life. I have wanted to meet you for so long, but I know it isn’t going to happen unless YOU make it happen, as I am on disability due to severe fibromyalgia pain, and haven’t got enough money to live on as it is. That is why I never got to see you when you were touring, or believe me, I would have been there in a heartbeat. I wish I could just get together with you & talk into the wee hours of the morning. I’m 49, female & well, someone who just burns up inside when I hear someone cut you down or make fun of you. I feel like slugging them! Well, my sweet Cher, you try not to get too nervous before your shows, I know you will WOW them, like you always do. You are one of a kind, and I always call you my Cher…..what can I say?? I wish you were part of my life. Take care, and stay well, sweetie!

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  36. silvana

    cher god god god god!!!!!

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  38. I love very the Diva Cher well and God better knows of this of what I… He was thanks to my uncle that really discovered what it was and who age the Cher. Today the Cher is as a Drug in my life, I proved, I liked now, I vitiated and not wide more… Diva love I you very…

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  39. hello
    is the music bkn is very good ok bye

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  40. Ellen D

    Dearest Cher,
    i too am glad that you are back, i seen one of ur concerts and for the rest of my life i will never forget it. You are the best of the best, if i had a friend like you, well i’d need no more. I think ur a great person with wonderful insight on life. Ive been a fan for so many years. It is wonderful all the things you do for our troops and for the people of this country. i too feel the same for our government and i too support hillary , I am not too much into pollitics, nor do i plan to be. Please take care of ur self, so that we all can enjoy your music and movies for many more years to come. I own all your movies on dvd and all of your cd’s. you are a great performer and hope to see you more in the future. once again and sincerely take care, loved ur comment you once made, ( when the world is over , all that will be left will be Cher and roaches..) Great comment .. Love ya cher, ur number one to me…

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  45. Hi everyone. I’m looking for a new wardrobe to excercise in yoga. Can anyone give me some light? I’m looking for soft and comfy clothes in 70% cotton. Thank you all!

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