and brought the chaotic 2022 Oscars to a close last month when they appeared together to present the award for Best Picture to “CODA.”
Not long after the March 27 ceremony was thrown into disarray when Will Smithonstage, Gaga and Minnelli’s joint appearance from . Minnelli was greeted with a standing ovation.
But a collaborator and friend now claims the “Cabaret” star was “very disappointed” by the experience.
“She was sabotaged,” singer Michael Feinstein said inon SirusXM’s “ ” that aired Tuesday.
“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.’”
Plans for the setup changed at the last minute, Feinstein said, in part because organizers had been “shaken up” by Smith’s actions earlier that night. According to the singer, a stage manager informed Minnelli she’d be seated in a wheelchair instead of in a director’s chair just minutes before she was due to appear onstage.
“She was nervous, and it made her look like she was out of it,” he said. “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.”
Minnelli’s representative did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for confirmation of Feinstein’s account.
A representative for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences declined to comment on his remarks.
A five-time Grammy nominee, Feinstein hasalongside Minnelli on . Earlier this year, the pair recorded the jazz standard “Embraceable You” as a duet for Feinstein’s latest album, “ .”
Last month, Minnelli’s former publicist Scott Gorensteinthat Gaga had personally requested that Minnelli be her Oscars night co-presenter. The two stars have enjoyed a friendly relationship for about a decade. In 2011, Gaga invited Minnelli at New York’s Madison Square Garden, later citing her as a personal inspiration during the show.