Elisabeth Hasselbeck responds to Rosie O'Donnell's claims of a mutual crush: 'Not only insulting, disturbing'

Elisabeth Hasselbeck returned to The View on Tuesday to promote her new book, Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith, and Freedom. However, she found herself responding to former co-host Rosie O’Donnell’s recent comments made in a different publication.

In Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of “The View” by Variety‘s Ramin Setoodeh, O’Donnell said she had a crush on Hasselbeck during their time on the show together, and that “there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts.” But Hasselbeck said that if O’Donnell were a man, the conversation would be different.

I think what she said was reckless, untrue and not only insulting, disturbing, when it comes to how she felt about somebody in the workplace,” Hasselbeck said of O’Donnell. “If you replace what Rosie said and you take her name out and you put in Ruben or Robert, then we would be in a situation where you would see the objectification of a woman in the workplace. And that’s disturbing because where we may be really against that when it comes from a man to a woman, you don’t get a pass because you’re a lesbian objectifying a woman in the workplace. You just don’t.”

Hassellbeck, who played softball in college, also took issue with O’Donnell’s assertions about female athletes who play on sports teams being “at least a little bit gay.”

“If you’re an athletic girl, and you’re competitive and you’re gritty, and I wore eye black and I slid into second base. And if you’re a runner or a pitcher or whatever your sport it is, it’s a lie and it’s reckless to attach a sexuality to that. And I think it’s selfish on her part,” Hasselbeck said.

She went on to say that while the feeling of a crush was not mutual with O’Donnell, she respected her as a co-host and a person in the office. Hasselbeck added that she unsuccessfully tried to reach out to O’Donnell because she understands what it’s like to mess things up, while also having the “grace of forgiveness.”

“I forgive Rosie. I absolutely forgive her because I was disturbed by what she said, and I was offended by it. And she has my forgiveness full-heart, and I pray that she can have the peace that she deserves. That’s my ultimate prayer,” Hasselbeck said. “I hope that she’s okay, and I hope she’s at peace and she and I can get to a place of peace at some point. But more I want it for her more than anything else.”

The View airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on ABC.

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