November 2nd, 2010
03:42 PM ET
Wearing fishnets and a leotard on the December cover of Vanity Fair, Cher has hardly changed over the course of her 40-plus years in show business.
The same applies to her attitude, as she proves in the magazine's accompanying interview, in which the outspoken star talks about drugs, aging, Chaz Bono's sex-change operation, and late ex-husband Sonny Bono.
Just 16 when she met 11-years-older Bono in 1962, the duo went on to marry and make beautiful music together. But Cher tells Vanity Fair that the controlling Bono – whom she divorced in 1975 - knew they were destined to go their separate ways.
"[He] told me when we were together, ‘One day you are going to leave me. You are going to go on and do great things.’ … I wouldn’t have left him if he hadn’t had such a tight grip — such a tight grip.”
Bono, who died in 1998, treated her “more like a golden goose than like his wife," explains the 64-year-old superstar. "I forgive him, I think. He hurt me in so many ways, but there was something. He was so much more than a husband - a terrible husband, but a great mentor, a great teacher."
That's why the singer believes the two deserve a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"It just seems kind of rude. Sonny was a good writer, and we started something that no one else was doing," she says. "We were weird hippies before there was a name for it, when the Beatles were wearing sweet little haircuts and round-collared suits… We influenced a generation, and it’s like: What more do you want?”
Cher also opens up about her child Chaz's gender-reassignment surgery. “If I woke up tomorrow in a guy’s body, I would just kick and scream and cry and f-ing rob a bank, because I cannot see myself as anything but who I am — a girl," she says. "I would not take it as well as Chaz has. I couldn’t imagine it.”
In fact, Cher admits she still struggles when referring to Chaz's gender. "This is where I get into trouble," she says. "My pronouns are [expletive]. I still don’t remember to call her ‘him.’”
While many celebrities fall victim to drugs throughout their careers, Cher says she's never really been tempted. "I never felt good out of control," she explains. "I have the constitution of a fruit fly. I can’t do coffee, but I can do Dr. Pepper."
Not that she needs the extra energy boost. The Oscar winner, whose new film, "Burlesque," hits theaters November 24, compares herself to a bumper car and says she has no plans to retire any time soon.
"I’m not stopping," she says, though she does admit that Mery Streep has created some problems for her career. “I think Meryl [Streep] is doing it great. The stupid [expletive] is doing it better than all of us! But I don’t like it. It’s getting in my way. I have a job to do, and it’s making my job harder.”
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