Cher Talks First 'Late Show' Visit at Concert: David Letterman Paid Me $28,000 to Go on His Show

The 70-year-old singer is standing by the story she first told in 1986 about why she made the Late Show visit

Photo: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS

Do you believe David Letterman once footed Cher’s pricey hotel bill in order to convince her to come on his show?

During a concert at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland on Saturday, the 70-year-old singer stood by the story she first told during her 1986 visit on the Late Show about why she finally decided to do the appearance.

“I had a $28,000 hotel bill and Dave Letterman had always asked me to be on his show,” she explained to the audience. “And I said, ‘Yes if you have $28,000.’ But they said no.”

“Then they called back and said yes!” she continued. “The producers said, ‘Why did you never want to be on the show before this?’ and I said, ‘Because [Letterman] is very smart and funny but he can be so cruel if he doesn’t like the people.'”

She spoke of her appearance in 1986, and said: “Then when he asks me [on the show] why I wouldn’t go on I say, ‘Because you’re an assh—.'”

Cher’s first Late Night appearance was four and a half years in the making, and when she said that the show agreed to cover her costs, Letterman, 69, denied the claims and joked: “If you think this show will cover that hotel bill, you were sadly misled.”

When Cher appeared as a guest again during Letterman’s final run as host in 2015, she reminded him that he’s still an “assh—.”

“For a number of years, there’s something that I’ve always wanted to get straight between us… This is one thing that I really mean from the bottom of my heart, I’m not kidding, no bulls—: I really love you and I’m going to miss you,” she said.

The two hugged. “That’s very sweet of you,” Letterman told her. “Yes,” Cher responded, “and you’re still an assh—.”

At the concert, Cher also referred to getting older and said: “I did a plank for five minutes today. I’m 70, and what’s your granny doing tonight?”

When Cher dropped out of the upcoming Lifetime movie based on the 2016 water crisis in Flint, Michigan late last week, fans grew concerned and questioned her health.

Though her rep told PEOPLE Friday that “Cher’s health is fine,” she will no longer star in the film due to a “serious family issue,” reportedly concerning her 90-year-old mother Georgia Holt.

“This has been a project so near and dear to my heart and I was truly looking forward to helping tell this story,” Cher shared in a statement to Entertainment Tonight on Friday. “Unfortunately, I will be unable to leave Los Angeles during the scheduled filming as I am dealing with a serious family issue that prevents me from going on location for the April filming.”

  • Reporting by JEFF NELSON and DAN WAKEFORD
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