Liza Minnelli carried on a steaming year-long affair with her openly gay piano player — before kicking him to the curb after she had satisfied her desires!
Award-winning composer Billy Stritch was an awestruck 27-year-old barroom keyboardist from Texas and crooner in New York City in 1991 when Liza, then 45, and a couple of pals stumbled into his saloon when he was playing!
“They were the only people in the audience,” Billy recalls. “I was thinking: ‘How am I going to get her (Liza) over here?’”
He hit the right note by playing a song from the soundtrack of “The Bad and the Beautiful,” a movie directed by her legendary dad, Vincente Minelli.
Liza, now 73, invited him to join her and her friends, and after a chat, offered him a job arranging songs for her shows!
Not long after — despite Billy’s attraction to men — their relationship became romantic and they began having steamy sex on a regular basis.
“I told her that I’ve been with far more men than women,” he said, admitting that he was attracted to her stardom and charisma.
“I made the first move,” he confessed. “She just made me feel so, this huge star really wanted me, and made feel all those things.
“She gave me confidence.”
Liza invited him to move in with her and stunned him with her voracious appetite for sex — even with a gay man.
“I could do it, but it wasn’t like my thing,” he confessed.
When Billy told Liza that his mother – who was visiting from out of town – loved her, Judy Garland’s troubled daughter deadpanned: “Oh sure, a divorced ex-drug addict is the answer to your mother’s prayers.”
But soon, Billy reverted to his natural sexual desires and the passion cooled between them.
“I didn’t know how to break it off,” he admitted.
But Liza made it easy for him.
“It was at the end of the her last show in Atlantic City,” he remembered. “Normally we would have gotten on the helicopter and come back (to her house).
“But she took me in the dressing room and told me, ‘I think I should go back by myself and I think we should just break this off.’”
In that moment it was over.
“It was kind of devastating at the time,” he said. “(But) I don’t hold that against her.”