Cher, Our October 2013 Women of Interest

The longtime diva dishes on old loves, new projects and family values

by David Hutchings
cher image
Photograph: Trunk Archive

She’s releasing her first album in 11 years, Closer to the Truth.
The first half is fun and the second is introspective, and that is pretty much me in a nutshell—introspective and fun.

She has been a major star for nearly five decades.
I think it’s due to nothing but luck. I sort of wander through life, and then occasionally I do something, and here I am.

Sonny days
I met Sonny when I was 16 and left when I was 27, but I didn’t grow in that period. Back then, I didn’t know that taking responsibility is not as scary as it seems. Now I enjoy being my own person and making my own money. I like that I don’t have to ask anybody for anything. I grew slowly, but I grew. 

Romantic review
The guy I’m with needs to be funny, kind and industrious. I like intelligent, but intelligent is not as good as nice. The love of my life was Robert Camilletti. The second great love was Elijah’s father (Gregg Allman). Sonny falls into his own category. A lot of my time with him was not fabulous, but if he came back to earth today, within five minutes we’d turn into Sonny and Cher.

Supporting soldiers
I was so against the Vietnam War, but I think I confused the men with the mission. So when we got involved in Iraq, I helped start Operation Helmet, which provides helmet inserts to protect soldiers from brain injuries, and the Heroes Project for injured vets. All these wars are pretty much full of shit, but the people who fight in them aren’t.

Mother love
I had a great mom. She taught me to be respectful, and I did the same with my kids, Chastity and Elijah. My main rules were: You don’t lie, you are not mean, you help people when you can, and you show compassion.

Hard truths
I was the first person to know that my daughter, Chastity, was a lesbian, but I was the last person she told. I didn’t make it easy for her, and I’m not proud of that. Sometime later she told me she wanted to undergo gender re-assignment and become a man. It took me months to deal with this, but I know that if you are miserable, you have to go for it, whatever it is. Chaz is a wonderful person, and he’s so happy now. 

Next: Georgina Chapman, Our September 2013 Woman of Interest

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First published in the October 2013 issue of More.

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