And to add insult to injury, Walters totally kicked her when she was down, according to the pop star's recall of events in a new interview with Billboard in advance of the release of her fourth studio album, PRISM, on Oct. 22.
"I shouldn't have done the interview," Perry admitted regarding her sit-down for Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People of 2011 special, which aired that December. "I was playing Madison Square Garden that same night, and I knew that the end of my marriage was coming. I was just exhausted and stressed."
"I'd prepped everyone that I was running late, but Barbara showed up at the original time anyway," the "Roar" singer continued.
"When I got there, I apologized immediately, but then she said to me, 'You know, I've only ever waited for one other person this long, and you know who that person was? Judy Garland. You know how she turned out, right?' I was like, 'Oh, snap! Yes, bitch!'" (For the record, the famously troubled Garland died of a drug overdose at 47 in 1969.)
But Perry has since concluded that the timing was just bad all around and she couldn't tell Walters what was really going at the time, which was barely a year after she and Russell Brand had tied the knot in a splashy ceremony in India.
"I think it's the coolest thing that Barbara Walters shaded me," Perry added. "I just couldn't tell her as we were sitting down for a mega-interview, 'Hey, my marriage is falling apart. Give me a break.'"
Sure enough, just weeks after the Walters special aired, Brand filed for divorce.
During the interview, Walters of course brought up Perry's relationship and her husband's troubled past, asking her at the time if it was "a good marriage, a happy marriage?"
After a pause that now says everything, a pink-haired Perry, looking like a deer in the headlights, managed to say, "I think it's lovely, so far."
Asked if it bothered her when they met that Brand had been a heroin addict, the singer replied thoughtfully, "Um, it didn't actually, because I knew about my father's past [battling substance abuse]. "I knew that there is a capacity for change in anyone, I really believe that. I saw that Russell's changed as well, so I believe that people can really…uh…turn out for the best."
Walters then asked if she wanted to have kids.
"Yes, of course," Perry said. "I think that's one of the biggest reasons why peole do get married."
But was there anything she wanted to reveal right then and there? (Also a question that takes on a new meaning now.)
"No," Perry said, "let's just talk about right here."
The Grammy winner also talked to Billboard about how her split from Brand influence some of the songs on PRISM, such as the not-yet-released tune "Ghost," in which she sings, "You sent a text, it's like the wind changed your mind," in reference to her ex informing her via text message that he was divorcing her.
And the song "By the Grace of God," she said, "is evident of how tough it really was at a certain point. I asked myself, 'Do I want to endure? Should I continue living?'
"All the songs are real-life moments. I can only write autobiographically. I put all the evidence in the music. I tell my fans if they want to know the real truth about stuff, just listen to the songs."