Rosie O’Donnell doesn’t hold back in the new book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View. After her anecdote about having a crush on Elisabeth Hasselbeck made waves, O’Donnell is capturing headlines again, this time about former co-star Whoopi Goldberg. In an excerpt obtained by E! Online, O’Donnell called working with Goldberg “the worst experience.”
“Whoopi Goldberg was as mean as anyone has ever been on television to me, personally — while I was sitting there,” the 57-year-old comedian told author Ramin Setoodeh. “Worse than Fox News. The worst experience I’ve ever had on live television was interacting with her.”
O’Donnell said their beef shouldn’t surprise anyone. “Some people would say, ‘What’s going on with you and Whoopi?’ I was like, ‘Are you watching the show? It’s pretty much right there.’ I have no desire for a public feud,” she explained.
The A League of Their Own actress joined The View in 2006 where she co-hosted alongside Goldberg for one year before abruptly quitting after getting into an argument with Hasselbeck. She joined again in 2014, which is when the tension started. Setoodeh writes that O’Donnell claimed the Oscar winner would shut down her ideas, and that she complained about her to celebrity guests. O’Donnell remembered one particular fight about racism when Laverne Cox was hosting.
“I thought my head was going to explode,” O’Donnell recalled to Setoodeh. “My doctor called me and said, ‘Come in right now. Your heart rate during that is dangerous for you. I don’t want you doing that show anymore.'”
O’Donnell concluded on a somewhat positive note, explaining she still has respect for Goldberg: “She’s a minority, feminist, smart, funny, groundbreaking legend who is black in America. I’m never going to not have respect for Whoopi Goldberg. But that was a painful experience, personally and professionally.”
Goldberg has yet to weigh in on O’Donnell’s comments. But Hasselbeck fired back at her former co-host’s claim they had a mutual crush on each other. In the book, O’Donnell said there were “underlying lesbian tones on both [of their] parts” and speculated that because Hasselbeck used to play softball that she’s “a little bit gay.”
On Fox & Friends, Hasselbeck called the claims “disturbing” and “wrong.” She added, “And whether you’re a man or whether you’re a woman, and you’re objectifying women in the workplace, it’s wrong.” Hasselbeck said she was “praying” for O’Donnell.
O’Donnell responded on Twitter.
hey eh – my crush on u was not sexual – sorry u got scared – ❤️surely u recall b4 it all went wrong – i never objectified u – i did find u fantastic – broadway shows – my pool -we were friends once ❤️ god love ya kid – i always did #hasselbeck #raminSUX
— ROSIE (@Rosie) March 26, 2019
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