While in conversation with Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live, O'Donnell, 60, admitted to previously feeling tension between herself and DeGeneres, 64. Even though O'Donnell had DeGeneres on as a guest on her talk show, the former View co-host said she was never invited on The Ellen DeGeneres Show until the very end of its 19-season run.
Cohen started the conversation by asking, "Did they not ask [you to appear]?"
"No," O'Donnell responded.
"We had a little bit of a weird thing, and after my show went off the air and hers was coming on the air," she continued. "Larry King was on with Ellen and he said 'What ever happened to Rosie O'Donnell? Her show went down the tubes! She came out as a lesbian and disappeared!'"
It was DeGeneres' response that took O'Donnell by surprise. "And Ellen said, and I'm quoting, 'I don't know Rosie. We're not friends.'"
O'Donnell remembers the moment she saw it unfold on screen. "I was in bed with [ex-wife] Kelli [Carpenter] and I said 'Did I just hear that? Or was that a hallucination, auditory voice in my —'" she said.
"And that's what happened. And it hurt my feelings like a baby," she added. "And I never really got over it."
Cohen then pointed out that "they also never asked" O'Donnell to come on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. But O'Donnell said the series did, in fact, ask her once toward the end of its run.
"I was gonna go on for SMILF but I wanted to bring someone else with me so it was a little less awkward," she explained. "They didn't want to do that."
As to how O'Donnell feels now, she ended the conversation with well-wishes for DeGeneres. "I wish her all good things in her life and that she should be well," she said.
Gary Gershoff/Getty Images; VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images
Ahead of the "Puppy Episode" on Ellen, which saw DeGeneres address her sexuality for the first time, she told O'Donnell the character was "Lebanese." The joke allowed DeGeneres to address rumors about the character while leaving some of the show's plot to be revealed.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show ended in May after 19 seasons.
Both women used their platform to come out as lesbian, as well as advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Though previously, DeGeneres believed her career would end after she publicly announced her sexuality.
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"When I came out, people warned me that it was going to ruin my career, and they were right for a while," she recently said during an opening monologue of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which celebrated the 25-year anniversary of the now-iconic episode. "Actually, for exactly three years, I lost my career. But look at me now."