Cher talks Chaz, Sonny and aging in Vanity Fair
November 2nd, 2010
03:42 PM ET

Cher talks Chaz, Sonny and aging in Vanity Fair

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.

See more Cher in Vanity Fair

"[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?”

Vanity Fair's Hollywood power couples

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.”

soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Jmlemongello

    That's rude!! Here are the 10 best responses to such a trite and 'stupid' comment, which shows her impolite political sensitivity: She needs more surgery for what is called cranial rectal inversion.
    10. Every time you open your mouth all you do is prove your ignorance. Maybe you should stop doing that.
    9. 95% of everything you say is completely moronic. The other 5% is only slightly less so.
    8. That’s an opinion, not a fact. And, who would listen to the opinion of a miscreant (MISS-kree-ant) like you?
    7. Oh, really? Please go on. …I can hardly wait to hear your brain barf, again.
    6. Is that your honest assessment, or are you on drugs again?
    5. Your parole officer won’t like it when I tell him you’re harassing me.
    4. Does this mean you have stopped wetting the bed? Wasn’t that our deal? You could call me stupid all you want when you stopped wetting the bed?
    3. What do I care? Who do you think believes you anyway?
    2. Well, I guess I better not list you as a reference on my resume, then.
    1. Why, thank you! It is so reassuring to know there will be buffoons like you to mow my lawn and flip my burgers in ten years.

    November 15, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. True Star

    Cher, Sit Cho Olazz Down Somewhere.... It's over already!!!!

    November 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Matty

    Shut up EVANGELINE, there's loads of mean comments here so no censorship.
    And wake up people, surgery isn't enough to make you look like that!
    She does work out daily. But I guess you're so jealous you won't even give her that.

    November 6, 2010 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Evangeline

      Are you a moderator Matty? If not, don't tell others to shut up.

      November 14, 2010 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Evangeline

    I guess one only gets quoted here if they "love" Cher. My post never got shown. Must be because I did not sing her praises.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ward lamb

    Come on person who said Chazz is trans because of hug deficiency,rather arrogant.Judging in that manner is not very evolved.Most people know that Freud is outdated.

    November 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ward lamb

    I love this woman,great lady,with her head high amidst adversity.

    November 3, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MB

    All the body overhauls aside, Cher is very talented and it would do all the aspiring X Factors,s Superstars, etc a world of good to take notes from her and others like her. Maybe then we'll finally get a decent new crop of talent. Lately you can only use the word talent with tongue planted firmly in cheek. And whoever comes up with terms like "gender reassignment" deserves to be drawn and quartered or worse.

    November 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Keith

    Chaz is an example of what happens when kids don't get enough hugs. So, go home and hug your kids!!

    November 3, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. shayem

    god bless Cher so what if she had alot of plastic surgery she looks fantastic I hope I could look as good when I turn 64, always loved sonny and cher. Would love to see her in concert anytime she is so cool. and I love her voice and would just love to see what she wears.

    November 3, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. Cully

    I saw Cher in the 60s in Chicago with Sonny. Fun times. She is so many "wonderfuls" that I can't even mention them all. And, by the way, Chaz didn't choose to be a male. "She" was born that way. The word '"she" should be in parenthesis, not 'he'. And even tho I believe that, I still can understand how difficult it must be for Cher to accept. We love you, Cher.

    November 3, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. Hank

    I wanna kiss her

    November 3, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Timmy

    I don't like to cher my toys.

    November 3, 2010 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. D.

    I love Cher!!! I'm almost 80 and saw her and Sonny years ago. She was great then and great now. How many other actress/entertainers could say the same. There are some, like Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton who are very entertaining, but only one "CHER". Love her honesty and straightforwardness. I also admire her honesty on her "son", but it doesn't interfere with her love for him.

    November 3, 2010 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dark Lady

    Thank you for being f_ing awesome Cher! You are and will always be my favorite....your music shaped my childhood!

    November 3, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. kale

    @ D Man- Wait til your father gets home...yes!! I bought the dvd set about a year ago on Amazon. (l think.) good show! I googled it and found it that way. Good luck.

    November 3, 2010 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  16. Pantyhose

    CHER is the greatest STAR by far!

    November 3, 2010 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  17. jason

    I am offended.Cher should love and support that freak tranny son of hers

    November 3, 2010 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Patti

      Read the article! Cher does totally support her child. She stated that she felt Chaz handled this better than she herself could have (feeling like she was trapped in the wrong body), however she still slips and calls him "her". Regardless of what you think of her as an entertainer, Cher has always tried to shield and protect both her children from the media and spotlight. I personally would love the chance to sit and talk with her, I find her to be an incredibly interesting person. The fact that she calls it like she sees it seems to annoy some people, but lighten up folks, difference is what makes the world go round, you don't have to agree with her!

      November 3, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  18. Talar

    Ilove Cher too! She's a living legend!

    November 3, 2010 at 4:26 am | Report abuse |
  19. annasuey

    Cher is beyond and above any entertainer in our time or for the last forty years for that matter. She is a true diva with a remarkable view that is refreshing and honest as it gets. Love this lady in all her self earned glory. She Rocks!!!!

    November 3, 2010 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
  20. joann bartholomew

    Cher's beautiful daughter.How can the girl,live with her decision.

    November 3, 2010 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  21. D Man

    Cher is starting to look like Tom Bosley. She's great !

    November 3, 2010 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
  22. Live and Let Live

    Ironic that a high school drop out (albeit a rich one) would call an educated and accomplished woman "stupid".
    She can't engage in an intellectual debate, so she calls her "stupid". That's just f_cking brilliant. (To borrow an explitive from Cher).

    November 3, 2010 at 3:11 am | Report abuse |
  23. Chris Izzi

    Cher is beautiful. We all saw the love between Sonny and Cher. My husband was Production Coordinator and Cher is an Icon. How many entertainers are known by just their first name before Cher ? None.

    November 3, 2010 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  24. Jules

    Cher gave me peace of mind many years back when she said in an interview that she was flaky. I, too, have been called
    flaky at times but after Cher's confession, I no longer feel ashamed about it.

    November 3, 2010 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
  25. dlb19595

    I have always loved and admired Cher she is so open and honest about everything! No one coming up through the ranks comes close to Cher, they can only dream to be like her.

    November 3, 2010 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  26. somalie

    I love cher's voice but I keep thinking I was listening to a man's voice. When she sang duet with a man, I couldn't tell which one was hers. Go man! I mean cher!

    November 3, 2010 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  27. UNKle Obama

    What 80's band is this guy from?

    November 2, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  28. azile

    She does not mince her of a kind.

    November 2, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  29. patricia p lumaava

    I love you Cher...

    November 2, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  30. patricia p lumaava

    Cher is and will always be my idol, goddess, diva, academy award winner and an icon! She's in the same boat with Bette, Barbara and Joan!! Only woman with no last name. Only CHER...and it says it all!

    November 2, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  31. kelly

    Thats what someone will look like if they take care of themselves and dont drink or do drugs (lindsey lohan should take notes)

    November 2, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |


    November 2, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |


    November 2, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Dan

    I'm so happy that Cher is still "going" after all these years. She can do it all....and do it all well (except maybe informercials lol).

    November 2, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  35. ckesling

    i grew up with sonny and cher!!!! love,love,loved them. she is still great... more power to you cher, you go girl :):):)

    November 2, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  36. jaws

    Musical analogy: Ed Sullivan – Beatles, Laugh-In – Sonny & Cher. Sorry.

    November 2, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  37. suzan

    aloha – as for cher she will never change anything at all. as for her daughter change to a men she should had ask her famous mom first.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  38. debcottone

    yea ok....but enough is's time to bow out gracefully....yikes!

    November 2, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatthef%&kever

      "Bow out gracefully?" You have GOT to be an idiot. Seriously. You WISH you could be this woman. GO CHER!!!

      November 2, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ward

      I think she's doing just fine,after all she's Cher
      I don't want her to leave

      November 3, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Becca

    I have to agree with most here.... cher is wonderful. And looks great for her age. Also I agree with her saying Sarah Palin is stupid! Cher is a smart woman and those who say Cher is just plain stupid her self must be crazy. Cher has way more going for her than Sarah could even think of having.
    The one that called her here nothing but a hipster.I guess you must be one too. She deserves a place in the hall of fame for sure, right along with Sonny. You go Cher!

    November 2, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  40. itsjustme

    I love Cher, too. She looked great long before she started having work done.:)

    I saw her in concert 5 years back - such energy!

    Good luck to her and Chaz.

    November 2, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Marty Kopulsky

    My Mom (Mere) loved Cher. She thought she was so talented and would have loved to have sat down and make brisket for her and talk about life. YES, she was a big fan.. I like her too.

    November 2, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  42. D Man

    Tom Bosley from Happy Days was the voice of the father.

    November 2, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  43. D Man

    Does anyone know where I could view the cartoon " waiting till your father gets home ".

    November 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Greg Alman

    cher is still alive ??????????????????????????????????????????????????

    November 2, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  45. sheppard

    Love Cher! Just wish she had left her beautiful face alone about 2 surgeries back! Like that woman on CSI Miami – too much of a 'good' thing is too much. They both looked better before they started messing around with Mother Nature.

    November 2, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  46. keldoran

    Saw her in September.Wasn't sure what to expect.She blew me away!!!
    She's got chops!!!A great show person with plenty of punch.
    She is right ya know..Sonny and Cher were ground breaking and the Rock Hall needs to make a spot for them.
    "And the beat goes on"

    November 2, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Kashab

    You go girl!

    November 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  48. avanel

    cher rocks.

    November 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Marnie

    I'm not really the biggest fan of her singing voice, but I think she's an absolutely great actress.

    November 2, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • alumette

      Cher is a unique icon with unbelievable staying power. I liked her voice and songs when she was with Bono. I love her acting. She is really great. She can afford the plastic surgery to keep her looking young and she does it with taste. She does not look freakish like Joan Rivers. She has style in an unpolished and unpretentious way. Go girl! you rock.

      November 2, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  50. BonelessChuck

    Nobody likes this old broad except the queens. She's a little old to be a hipster dont' ya think. Nothing sadder then some old broad trying (and losing) to look young. How shallow is someone that spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on plastic surgery..

    November 2, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Monica

    I saw Cher in concert a few years ago and of all the concerts I've been to, and I've been to many, (Springsteen, Stones, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Billy Joel, Bette, Madonna, Gaga and more) I was happiest seeing Cher. Is she the greatest singer in the world, no, but her music is timeless and I grew up watching The Sonny & Cher Show and seeing her, reliving all those songs throughout the decades was just fun! Gotta love Cher!

    November 2, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Ward lamb

    Cher is one word,AMAZING! So glad she has such longevity,she's my favorite!

    November 2, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Sandra

    Seeing Cher perform live was on my bucket list. I wasn't disappointed. She's everything you expect her to be and more, a great entertainer and great lady.

    November 2, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Marc L

    I know it is all surgery, and I am sure airbrushed, but she looks damn good for an older lady.

    November 2, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      I saw CHER live in Las Vegas in August and I will absolutely tell you that there is no air brushing necessary – she looks fabulous and fit and no fat! None!

      November 3, 2010 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  55. stevie68a

    Cher? She is only a GODDESS, like Barbra, Diana, Bette and Liza. All the new girls will have to wait at least 20 years to
    see if they qualify. (read Rhianna, Beyonce, Brittany, etc.)

    November 2, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  56. d g

    Cher has done tremendously with her lofr. Career and love for aonny rill his death. Their daightwe now chaz still abeautiful wonderful person inside and out. God luck to both of you. Cher you are a wonderful sensational person

    November 2, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  57. HOTT

    i'd treat her like a ice cream cone.

    November 2, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Alyce

    I love Cher too. I wish everyone was as candid and honest as she is. I hope I look half as good as she does when I'm her go girl!

    November 2, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lena

      You can Alyce, just have as much plastic surgery as she did lol. I'm not a big fan of major plastic surgery but I do understand her reasoning for having it. I mean with the business she's in she has to compete but really, who can compete with Cher!. I can respect her for that.

      November 3, 2010 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  59. Karen Delk

    I have adored this woman since I was a young girl! She is simply larger than life. I get to go see her last show in Las Vegas!

    I can only hope to look as good as her when I get to be her age, she is timeless!

    November 2, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  60. SpamNeggs

    I love Cher, just love her.

    November 2, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  61. alumette

    What is that Glee show? So much fuss about it. Looks irritating to me. I have never actually watched it.

    November 2, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |

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