Her appearance alongside Lady Gaga was the uplifting highlight of a night overshadowed by "the slap," but Feinstein says she was never supposed to appear in a wheelchair.
It was a beautiful moment that helped close out a tumultuous Oscars ceremony, but according to a longtime friend of Liza Minnelli, it wasn't supposed to go down that way at all.
During an appearance on SiriusXM's "The Jess Cagle Show" on Tuesday, Feinstein said his friend was "very disappointed" with her experience at the Oscars, further alleging that she was actually "sabotaged" by the show's producers moments before her appearance.
Minnelli appeared alongside Lady Gaga at the close of the show to present the Oscar for Best Picture. Appearing in a wheelchair, the "Cabaret" legend came across to many fans online as somewhat frail and disoriented.
What they also noted, though, was a beautiful shared moment between Minnelli and Gaga, as Gaga was very generous and kind in their interactions, sweetly telling Minnelli "I got you" at one point, to which Minnelli responded with a smile, "I know."
While the interactions may have turned out the same, Feinstein claims that the whole optics of the scene were supposed to be different. He also alleges that it was a last-minute change, possibly influenced by the chaos still happening behind-the-scenes after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock.
"She only agreed to appear on the Oscars if she would be in a director’s chair, because she’s been having back trouble," Feinstein asserted. "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."
Of course, that's exactly what wound up happening, as many shared concern for her condition after her appearance. "She was nervous, and it made her look like she was out of it."
Feinstein said that minutes before they were set to take to the stage, Minnelli was informed she would be seated in a wheelchair instead of a director's chair. "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," he said.
According to the five-time Grammy nominee, Minnelli pushed back, saying, "No, I will not be seen in a wheelchair in front of everybody. I will not do this. I refuse to do this."
Ultimately, though, there was no alternative offered and she relented. But the whole experience allegedly left her "so shaken that she was discombobulated." TooFab has reached out to representatives for Liza Minnelli and the Oscars.
"She was nervous," Feinstein said, suggesting this is why she messed up some of her lines and appeared a little lost. "It made her look like she was out of it. And she was just so shaken up that it was."