Bette Midler has branded her decision to fire manager Aaron Russo in 1980 one of the biggest mistakes of her life because her career took a major nose-dive after they parted ways.
The movie producer coached Midler through her first few years of fame, but after failing to land the veteran entertainer any new film roles following her Oscar-winning turn in "The Rose," Russo was let go.
Out on her own, Midler starred in the comedy "Jinxed!," which bombed at the box office, and the actress-singer confesses she sunk into a deep depression because she no longer had a right-hand man to help save her legacy and get her going on the right track.
During an interview on "Oprah's Next Chapter," which aired Sunday, she said, "I fired my manager -- big mistake -- and then I made this picture called 'Jinxed!,' in which I was in charge but nobody wanted me to be in charge. They (movie executives and the cast members) were all furious with me because I wanted to do things my way ...
"(It) was an extremely unpleasant experience and I was hammered in the press, and I didn't know the way it worked, because I had been so sort of cosseted by this manager of mine, and beloved. I had been so well taken care of by him that I didn't really get the truth and the way that you could be savaged.
"And when it happened to me, I was unprepared for it. It was hard. I wept copiously. ... I strongly regret it. I hit rock bottom."
And in another segment of the TV interview, Midler reveals that she took a hiatus after wrapping up her Las Vegas residency in 2010 because she was struck down with adrenal exhaustion.
The Oscar winner debuted "Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On" at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in February, 2008, and "The Rose" star says her body took a beating over the course of the two-year run.
In the interview, she said, "I did it and I lived to tell. ... It was absolutely fantastic. But at the end it got to me. I was tired. I was very, very tired. I had adrenal, not failure, but I had adrenal exhaustion and I had to lie down. So I've been lying down for quite a while now."
Unlike most stage performers, the veteran didn't cancel a single show, contributing to her fatigue, and Midler reveals she even won an attendance award for her outstanding commitment.
She continued, "I have the Perfect Attendance Award. When I was in Las Vegas, I did not miss a show. And I was one of the very few performers who never canceled a show. And I discovered later on if you cancel, the box office and the ushers they don't get paid. ... So that meant a lot to me, because it was like stiffing working people if you did not show up. And so when they gave me this award ... it was the cutest thing because they (the employees) all came and everyone was in their uniform to say thank you, and it taught me a big lesson."
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