He was 22 years old. She, 35. He hadn’t yet dawned as an actor. She was in her best decade as an actress, in her eighties, although years later she would crown herself one of the pop goddesses. In 1982, Val Kilmer and Cher were one of the most persecuted couples at the time, and although their close relationship continues today, that noisy affair lasted only two years. The reason for the break was now revealed by the singer to the magazine people, in which he claims that the relationship foundered because the two were “alpha males”. “We had incredible moments and then we endured some moments that weren’t”, he says, while adding that the two were independent “individuals” and that neither was willing to give it up.
40 years after the end of their relationship, the singer says she doesn’t know how they managed to be friends, it just happened. “He’s not like anyone I’ve ever met,” he says. “It’s exasperating and hysterical. Exciting and fun. And he doesn’t do what others do,” he adds in the conversation, in which he also reveals some of their secrets as a couple, such as, for example, that they called each other Sid and Ethel. “Val didn’t want to yell ‘Cher’, and I didn’t want to yell ‘Val’. We were also called Valus Maximus and Cherus Reprimandu”.
In the conversation, Cher herself details the beginning of a relationship that began as a friendship, after both met at one of the artist’s birthday parties and laughed “constantly” at the same things. But in the beginning the age difference aroused some doubts in her, although, in the end, she saw it as an advantage. “He took me to a Japanese Macbeth performance and was like, ‘This guy is crazy, it’s not going to work at all.’ He was so young. I was 22 years old. How many did I have? I don’t know… Thirty-odd (…) The truth is, if I hadn’t gone out with younger men, I would never have had a date. Younger men were not intimidated by older women,” he reflects.
In her account of the years they spent together, the artist does not spare praise for the actor —with a reputation for intractable and complicated—, who says he was very “good” with his two children, Chaz and Elijah, the result of his marriages to Sonny Bono and Gregg Allman, as well as enumerating their countless virtues. She remembers, for example, that she spent with him one of the best New Year’s Eves of her life and describes him as a “free spirit” with whom she fell “crazyly”.
During a tour of your show Citizen Twain, in 2014, Val Kilmer discovered that she had a lump in her throat. Years later he confirmed that it was a cancer, now out of date, but that it almost cost him his life and whose consequences prevent him from speaking and eating solid foods. At this difficult time in his life, Cher was one of his greatest supporters, even receiving him in his house during a large part of his convalescence.
The drama lived by Kilmer for his illness was evidenced in Val, a documentary about the life and career of the actor, now 61, in which the interpreter shows his daily difficulties. A portrait that did not leave his ex-girlfriend and friend indifferent. “I loved him and I love him. I just wrote it, I said: ‘Valus Maximus, I’m sorry if I did something to upset you and hurt your feelings. I love you and your documentary was amazing… I even loved what pissed me off, the things that made me hysterical, that scared me, that hurt me. You are brave and more than brilliant. Ethel”.
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