Liza Minnelli's Friend Says Oscars Bosses 'Sabotaged' Star By Making Her Go On Stage In A Wheelchair

Liza Minnelli felt "sabotaged" by Oscars bosses when she appeared on stage at the ceremony last month, a friend of hers has claimed.

A highlight at the 94th Academy Awards, according to many viewers at home, was the moment in which the Cabaret star, 76, along with Lady Gaga, 36, presented the best picture award.

The 'Bad Romance' songstress went viral after she supported the national treasure when the pair were presenting the gong, which ultimately went to Coda.

Minnelli, who co-presented the award in a wheelchair, appeared to fumble her lines as Gaga assured her elder that she had her back.

However, according to Minnelli's friend, Michael Feinstein, there's more to the story. He claims that it was originally planned that she would sit in a director's chair on stage but was left "flustered" and "discombobulated" when, instead, she was wheeled out.

"She was sabotaged. That’s a terrible word to use, but she only agreed to appear on the Oscars if she would be in the director’s chair, because she’s been having back trouble," he said on the Jess Cagle Show, explaining that the actress was having some back troubles before her appearance.

Per Metro, he went on to say: "She said, 'I don’t want people to see me limping out there… You know, I want to look good. I don’t want people to worry about me.'"

Feinstein said the physical altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock led to chaos backstage and the plan changed "literally five minutes" before Minnelli was set to present.
Credit: REUTERS / Alamy
"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.'" he continued. "Liza pleaded. She said,'No, I will not be seen in a wheelchair in front of everybody. I will not do this. I refuse to do this'."

He claimed: "Then they said, 'Well, it’s either that or nothing.'"

Feinstein said he saw the exchange take place and asked Minnelli was she wanted to do and she said she would appear - but was left "shaken" by it all.

'"She was so shaken that she was discombobulated. She was nervous. I mean, and it made her look like she was out of it. And she was just so shaken up," he added. "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."

"She was very disappointed that that happened, and it was not what was agreed to. She is really doing well and it’s a shame that it turned out that way. She was very disappointed."

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