Cher Is Still Searching for Love at Age 71: “I Haven’t Given Up!” (EXCLUSIVE)
She doesn’t need to turn back time — Cher is doing just fine! The only thing missing in the 71-year-old singer’s life is true love, something her 91-year-old mother so hopes she’ll find. Luckily, Closer Weekly has exclusively learned that “romantic” Cher is “still open to finding lasting love.” Josiah Howard — author of Cher: Strong Enough — recently told Closer, “[She’s] completely old-fashioned. She likes candlelit dinners, and says her best times with her partners have been just watching movies at home and eating pizza.” The “I Walk Alone” songstress has always been old-fashioned when it comes to sex, as well, waiting to get intimate until she’s in love.
“I enjoyed them all!” Cher has said of her past romances. “But I am monogamous. I have relationships, not lovers. My relationships seem to go on for two-and-a-half years, maybe three, and that’s it.The moment [it] goes into the phase of more commitment, it changes. But I haven’t given up!” Those commitment issues may stem from her troubled relationship with father John Sarkisian, whom she didn’t meet until she was 11. “She admits his absence left her not trusting men or their love for her,” an insider revealed. “It also made her feel she wasn’t deserving of love.”
Sonny and Cher. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
So when Cher met Sonny Bono at age 16 — he was 27 — she was smitten. “He was the most stable person I’d ever known. I was the young student, always listening, watching how he dealt with stuff,” she’s said. The two got married in 1964, and had daughter Chastity (now son Chaz) four years later. But as their success grew, the raven-haired beauty was no longer willing to put up with her controlling husband. “He didn’t want me to grow up or have any freedom. I wasn’t allowed to do anything except work. I should never have been married to him. We should have just been best friends,” she recalled.
“A big part of Cher remains her independence and she bristles when any man tries to control her. She says it makes her skin crawl,” the source said. Cher filed for divorce in 1974, and soon after started dating music mogul David Geffen, who helped her launch her solo music career. Though they were “crazy” about each other, their romance ended after two years, and David later came out as gay in 1992. The music producer did introduce her to her next husband, Allman Brothers Band guitarist Gregg Allman, whom she married days after finalizing her divorce from Sonny. “She was 28 when she met Gregg, and it was a lot of fun for her to be young with somebody her own age, doing what she wanted to do,” Howard explained. Unfortunately, his addiction to heroin peaked as the couple welcomed son Elijah Blue in 1976 and she couldn’t “save him” from his demons.
Cher and Gregg. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
In 1979, Cher fell for KISS bassist Gene Simmons, who was sober and didn’t have the same issues as her other rocker ex. “He treats me better than I’ve ever been treated,” she raved at the time. Ultimately, his touring schedule led to their breakup — as well as her splits from blues guitarist Les Dudek and Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora. After breaking into the movie industry, Cher moved on to a new type — actors in their 20s. “Why do I date younger men? Because older men don’t ask me out!” she lamented after being linked to Val Kilmer, Eric Stoltz, and Tom Cruise. The Risky Business star was “in the top five” of her lovers, she later revealed.
At age 40, she dated aspiring actor and working baker Rob Camilletti, 22, who was dubbed “bagel boy” in the press. Their romance didn’t survive the public ridicule, but Howard shared of the May-December relationship, “She felt free, and he was someone who had no judgments. He was 20 years younger and from a different generation. It’s like she realized somebody could like her for being her and she could just be herself.”
In the last several years, the Burlesque star has been in a relationship with 59-year-old Ron Zimmerman, whom she jokes is the first person “over 30” she’s been with. The two were introduced through a friend, and she calls the “eccentric” producer “the funniest person I have ever met.” Will Ron be her forever love? Time will tell, but Cher is certainly open to the idea. “Love is harder to find when you’re older,” she admitted, “but I guess if grass can grow through cement, love can find you every time.”