Cher struggled when her daughter began her sex change.

The pop diva found it hard to adjust when Chastity - her child with her ex-husband, the late Sonny Bono - began gender reassignment operations in 2008 to become Chaz as she worried people wouldn't accept him.

Cher told The Sun newspaper: ''I remember saying: 'Chaz, this is going to be a nightmare'. I went into full protective mother mode. I was so negative about it because it really is the last frontier that people don't understand.

''It's hard for them to get it. But he was so brave. I was OK with it at first. But when it started to happen, I struggled.''

The 67-year-old singer burst into tears when she came to terms with the fact her daughter - now 44 - was gone for good, but she is now proud to call Chaz her son.

Cher - who also has a son, Elijah, from her marriage to Gregg Allman - explained: ''There was one time in particular that was so hard for me. I called him at home and he wasn't there but he'd forgotten to change his answer phone message.

''So Chastity answered and not Chaz. It was she. I thought, 'Oh my God, I'm never going to hear that voice again.' I broke down. I found it hard and it was a huge shock.

''But now? Well I do and I don't. They're some sort of strange blend though I'm getting used to Chaz more. I'm just proud he's done this to help others going through the same ordeal.''

The 'Believe' hitmaker also touched upon her fling with Tom Cruise, who she recently branded her best-ever lover, claiming the actor's Scientology religion is made up of ''crazies''.

She laughed: ''Everyone's curious about Tom and Scientology but he wasn't a Scientologist when we were together, he was just Tom.

''Sonny was into Scientology for a bit but not me. I've no interest in Scientology whatsoever. They're crazies.''