I lied to him about how old I was. I've told this story, but somehow it
always keeps coming back. I told him that I was 18, and of course I wasn't. I
was the most bizarre 16-year-old that you probably would come across. I had all
kinds of phobias and all kinds of insecurities and all kinds of energies that
just couldn't be harnessed. Except Son saw something. And I didn't have a place
to stay and he said, “You know, you can come and live with me because I have
twin beds and really I don't find you attractive.” I didn't really know how to
take it, but I was really glad to have a place to stay.
And when people would call or come over and say, “Who's that girl?” “Oh, that's
just Cher.” We spent this whole time together and I was just Cher. I was this
kid and he kind of took care of me. I told my mom I was living with a
stewardess. And every time that my mom would call, I always said, “Mom, call me
before you come over.” Every time my mom would call, I'd grab all of Sonny's
clothes and run down the street and throw all his clothes into my girlfriend's
living room window. And I lost most of his clothes that year. One time he came
into the house and he had his jockey shorts in his hand and he said, “Cher,
you've just got to stop doing this. I found these on the street.”
So nothing happened with us romantically until my mom made me move out. When I
was packing my things, we both just looked at each other and we started crying
and I didn't even know why. And then I just realized once I was there that I
just missed him so much -- I was so used to him being a part of my life. And I
also had to tell him at that time that I wasn't 18. That I was 17, but I was
about to turn 18. And when we were crying -- he actually cried too -- I said,
“Well, I'm not 17 about to turn 18. I'm 16 about to turn 17, but I can't go
through the rest of my life without you. So if my mother threatens to put you in
jail, could you just do it anyway.” So my mother kept threatening him all that
year. But then I turned 18 and everything was all right.
I want to close, but I wanted to tell Mary and Chesare and Chianna how proud I
am of what he made himself after we were separated and his accomplishments. And
I know that a person just doesn't decide to become a Congressman in the middle
of their life and then be one.
But it's just so typical of Sonny to do something so crazy like that. And
also it puts my mind at peace to know that in the end of his days that he had
such a wonderful family life. And I know how much he loved Mary and Chesare and
Chianna. And I know how much they loved him. And also I know how much he loved
his friends. He was the greatest friend. If you'd seen our house for the last
five days -- Mary's house for the last five days -- we can't get rid of
everybody. Everybody's just there, you know. And it's the way you would have
wanted it. He would have been in the middle cooking -- not eating, just tasting.
And making everybody else eat.
So the last thing I want to say is, when I was young, there was this section in
the Reader's Digest. It was called "The Most Unforgettable Character I've Ever
Met." And for me that person is Sonny Bono. And no matter how long I live or who
I meet in my life, that person will always be Sonny for me."
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