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 U.S. 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 U.S. show Oprah’s Next Chapter, which aired in America on Sunday (11Nov12), 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.”