Cher Was Arrested at 13 for ‘Borrowing’ Her Mom’s Car

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Cher has always been a bit of a rebel. She’s shown that in her feminism, fashion, and even her dating preferences. But did you know that she actually was arrested at the young age of 13? She didn’t quite commit grand theft auto, but Cher was arrested for “borrowing” her mother’s car.

Cher’s Mom, Georgia, Said Her Superstar Daughter Was Generally Well-Behaved Until Age 14

The news came out in 2013 when Cher was promoting a special Mother’s Day documentary and an album with her mom, Georgia Holt. Cher had discovered a 31-year-old vinyl of her mom’s singing and had sound mixers layer her mom’s voice on top of Cher’s band. Originally, it featured musicians from Elvis Presley’s band. The album, Honky Tonk Woman, was never officially released until Cher got a hold of it. And the documentary was originally supposed to be an 86th birthday present, but then Lifetime wanted to turn it into a full film.

“I’ve realized what brave is, and that is going on national television with your mother,” Cher joked to Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. It’s hard to remember at this point that Cher was 67 at the time because she and her mother were present as a full 30 years younger than they actually are.

But despite how many times these two ladies have revolved around the sun, the interview was full of surprises.

“So, what was Cher like as a kid? A pain in the ass? What?” Leno asked Georgia.

“No, not really. No, she was a pretty good kid until she was about 14, I think,” Cher’s mom responded, looking at her. They couldn’t remember if it was 13 or 14.

Cher Hopped a Freight Train and Was Arrested for “Borrowing” a Car

“Until I got arrested,” said Cher, quickly correcting herself. “Actually, it was worse than that. I hopped a freight train when I was—.” Georgia looked shocked, her mouth agape.

“Oh, mother, don’t look at me like that, okay?” Cher said, just like a teenager, rolling her eyes.

“Mother—. Alright, I’m not going to go into it because you know what I’m talking about.”

“I don’t know that you‘ve hopped a freight train.”

“Alright, well, I’ll tell you it later,” Cher said, quickly changing the subject to the time she stole a car instead.

“So, I don’t think I got arrested, except you said there was a mug shot but I don’t really remember that,” Cher told her mom.

They Insisted She Wasn’t Technically”Stealing” the Car — But Her Mom Kept the Mug Shot

“Didn’t you steal a car?” Leno asked. Both women raised their hands in unison and denied this with exclamations like “Not exactly.”

“Oh, you didn’t steal it,” Leno corrected. “You ‘borrowed’ the car.”

“No, I learned how to drive when I was 11 years old,” Cher continued.

“I didn’t know,” Georgia assured Leno.

“I’m a very good driver now,” said Cher. “Anyways, so, so, um. Actually, I took the car many times.” Georgia then motioned to show that it was her car.

“So, this one night, I was with my girlfriends and their boyfriend. And we were outside this bowling alley. And he said, ‘Cher, you can drive. I have to go in here and do something. Will you just stay outside and keep the car running?’ So, we were out there forever. And people were honking, and I kept having to move it, and I kept having to move it. And I kept getting bigger circles and then I left the parking lot… Then I thought we could go to a drive-in. And then the police came.”

“And called me at 3:30 in the morning and said ‘We have your daughter down here at the police station,’” said Cher’s mom.

She Also Ran Away on a Tricycle at Age 4

“You were very good, you were very understanding,” Cher said. “Because I have the kind of mother who would beat you to death if you dropped a gum wrapper on the ground. And you steal a car and it was like, ‘I hope you’ve learned your lesson.’”

Then Leno showed Cher’s mug shot. Apparently, her mom had kept it for over 50 years.

Cher also revealed some other personal regressions of her past. One of those involved telling Sonny Bono that she was 18 when she was really 16. And then, when he found out she lied, she lied again and said she was 17 going on 18.

“Was he the love of your life or was it a rebellion thing?” asked Leno.

“No, no. It wasn’t really. No, I already went through that at like, 3,” said Cher. “I actually ran away on my tricycle when I was 4.” Now we can see where the whole “Cher borrowing a car and getting arrested” thing comes from!

“Cherilyn” Was Only for When The Goddess of Pop Was Really Bad… She Says Starting at Age 3

A day or two later, Cher and her mom made an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“Did you know that Cher was going to be Cher when she was a little kid?” Ellen asked. “Was she… was she bad?”

“Not really,” said Cher’s mom, once again mentioning that age 14 was around the time that changed. “When she was 11, she started signing her signature like her autograph. Like she does now.”

“I did, too,” said Ellen. “But you weren’t Cher. You were Cherilyn.”

“Cherilyn was when I was really in trouble. You know? When I was about 3 in like, major trouble, it was Cherilyn. No one ever called me anything but Cher.”

On the topic of Cher’s style, Ellen wanted to know if she’d always been that way or if it developed over time.

“You know, I was always kind of the odd one in the family,” said Cher. “Really.” She added that her sister, Georganne, who’d joined them on the couch, was more conservative.

To be fair, Cher did get at least three things from her momma. Her good looks, her amazing vocals, and a heavy dose of independence. Georgia Holt raised her two daughters mostly as a single mom way back in the day. And considering how much of a handful Cher seemed to be, that couldn’t have been a piece of cake.

Read More: Inside Cher’s Cougar Dating History

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