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Cher struggles, but supports child's sex change

 Singer Cher poses backstage at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles February 10, 2008. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - Reuters
Singer Cher poses backstage at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles February 10, 2008. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
— image credit: Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Cher has struggled to understand her child's decision to have a sex change operation but remains supportive and respectful of the courage it takes, the pop star said in a statement on Thursday.

Formerly Chastity Bono, the 40-year-old is the child of Cher and Sonny Bono and now goes by the name Chaz Bono. Chaz has begun operations and hormone treatments to become a man.

"Chaz is embarking on a difficult journey, but one that I will support," Cher, 63, said in a statement to People magazine and other celebrity media outlets.

"I respect the courage it takes to go through with this transition in the glare of public scrutiny, and although I may not understand, I will strive to be understanding. The one thing that will never change is my abiding love for my child."

Bono long ago came out of the closet as a lesbian and wrote in a 1998 memoir of how Cher reacted with horror to the news. Earlier this week, Bono revealed plans for the sex change.

In a long career, Cher has enjoyed hit songs such as "If I Could Turn Back Time" and "Believe." In the 1960s, she partnered with Sonny for hits like "I Got You Babe" and "The Beat Goes On." The pair had a hit television show in the 1970s. Sonny, who went on to a career in politics, died in 1998.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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