Cher's tough love turns son into Hare Krishna

The Star/July 15, 2003

A teary-eyed Cher hoped her rocker son Elijah would change his life when she gave him an ultimatum: Stop partying or move out of her Malibu estate.

And did he. The troubled 26-year old gave up all his worldly possessions and became a Hare Krishna.

But, contrary to the religion's rules, Elijah's still having sex, he confessed to friends.

"Cher threw Elijah out in May because he wouldn't stop partying and bringing home vagrants," a source reveals to Star.

Cher, who was on tour at the time, felt that she had no choice but to give Elijah an ultimatum: Clean up your act of you're out.

But he didn't stop partying, and one night it came to a head.

Says a family friend: "At Malibu's Taverna Tony restaurant, Elijah met up with a couple of girlfriends.

"When he got home later that night, the guards told him that he couldn't bring his friends into Cher's house.

"Elijah moved out the next morning, leaving behind everything except a tiny TV and a blowup air mattress."

Friends say Elijah moved into a tiny, dingy one-bedroom apartment in Culver City a few blocks away from the International Society for Kirshna Consciousness, where he eats two free meals a day and chants constantly.

But Elijah, who is currently recording his second album with his bank, Deadsy, tells friends that even though he enjoys living a simple life, he still secretly indulges in sex with his 18-year-old blond girlfriend, Jen.

"It's sort of like Elijah wants it all. He wants to be a Hare Krishna, but he's not ready to give up everything -- especially sex," the friend adds.

"Cher's not thrilled with the idea that Elijah's become a Hare Krishna, but on the other hand, she's supportive of anything that seems to help him get his life together. In fact, Elijah calls his mom almost every day.

"She's still very much involved in his daily affairs. It wasn't an easy decision on her part. But her tough love was also inevitable because she was sick and tired of him partying and dragging strange friends into her home."

And it seems that the religious sect has been helping Elijah straighten up. "Now, instead of partying all the time, Elijah prays to a picture of Krishna in his room during the day, then goes to the temple and eats their free food," says the family friend.

"He feels at home there. It's a very family-oriented community and once he advances further into their program, he'll be given permission to wear the robes and preach their message in public."

Sources say Elijah is telling pals that since he moved into the Hare Krishna community in Culver City, it's been the happiest few weeks of his life, because he feels he's connecting with his idea of God through Krishna and throwing himself into the study of the Bhagavad-Gita, a 30-volume archive of the religion.

"What's really bizarre is that Elijah is convinced it's pure "karma" that he's a Hare Krishna now because his dad, Greg Allman, bought $200 worth of Krishna literature about 30 years ago while Greg and Cher were walking through an L.A. airport," says the friend.

"Now the same guru who sold Greg those books is teaching Elijah. The kid's convinced his spiritual pursuit was divine intervention.

"Elijah's very serious about this, even though he's still in the recording studio -- and sleeping with his girlfriend.

"Who knows if he'll stick with it? For now, it's working, and Cher's sort of given her blessing."

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