Rosie O'Donnell defends herself after Elisabeth Hasselbeck calls remarks 'disturbing'


Elisabeth Hasselbeck says she sobbed after learning her contract wouldn’t be renewed for “The View.”

Rosie O’Donnell is responding to her former “View” co-host and sparring partner, Elisabeth Hasselbeck who described the comedian’s recent comments that she had a crush on her as “disturbing” and “offensive.”

The two “View” hosts, whose tenures overlapped during the 2006-2007 season, often battled over politics. 

O’Donnell made headlines Monday for comments she made in “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View’” by Variety‘s New York Bureau Chief, Ramin Setoodeh, which was shared with the outlet. According to the excerpt, O’Donnell spoke of wanting to mentor her cohort and harboring “a little bit of a crush” that was “in no way sexualized.”

O’Donnell reiterated that stance on Twitter Tuesday, following appearances by Hasselbeck promoting her new book, “Point of View,” which details her asthma-attack-inducing firing from “The View” and her relationships with her co-hosts, though O’Donnell is unmentioned. 

“hey eh – my crush on u was not sexual – sorry u got scared,” O’Donnell, who is openly lesbian, posted to social media, “surely u recall b4 it all went wrong.” 

She added, “i never objectified u,” she continued, denying an accusation Hasselbeck made on airwaves, “i did find u fantastic – broadway shows – my pool -we were friends once god love ya kid – i always did” 

The “Sleepless in Seattle” actress also retweeted a post that slammed Hasselbeck. 

“Thank you @TheView for having Hasselcrack on today, it reminded me how much I can’t stand her,” the post shared by O’Donnell read. “Also, her homophobic rants about @Rosie we’re gross and completely careless on her part. Disappointed that the rest of the co-hosts didn’t step in to defend her.”

On Tuesday’s “View,” Hasselbeck said she respected O’Donnell “as a co-host and as a person in the office as I think it should happen in all workplaces.”

Hasselbeck, who played softball in college, also addressed O’Donnell’s theory that “there are not many, in my life, girls with such athletic talent on sports teams that are traditionally male that aren’t at least a little bit gay.” 

Hasselbeck said it was “a lie” and “reckless” to ascribe sexuality to athleticism. “Just because you’re athletic doesn’t have anything to do with your sexual preference,” she said. “It just doesn’t.”

She also stopped by another show she used to host – “Fox Friends” – where she was asked about O’Donnell’s remarks about her in “Ladies Who Punch.”

“So, I read that – I’d like to be able to say I didn’t, but I read that,” Hasselbeck said. “I immediately started praying, because I’m like, ‘How am I going to handle this?’ “

Hasselbeck said her reaction was to turn to God and “just (start) praying, and I pray now the Holy Spirit gives me the words to articulate this, but I think it can be addressed with both truth and grace.”

“I feel like the truth is, (with) what she said, if you took her words and you replaced Rosie for Ronald, there would be an objectification of women in the workplace,” the former “Survivor” contestant said. “That is disturbing and it’s wrong. Whether you’re a man or whether you’re a woman, and you’re objectifying women in the workplace, it’s wrong.”

More: Elisabeth Hasselbeck dishes on ‘View’ co-hosts and the day she was fired in ‘Point of View’

More: Whoopi Goldberg ‘OK’ after battling pneumonia, sepsis: ‘I came very, very close’ to death

Speaking directly to O’Donnell, Hasselbeck added: “Rosie, I think it was disturbing to read those things, and it was offensive to me, but I forgive her. I totally forgive you, Rosie. I really hope that we can be at peace and that we can both hold our beliefs in one hand and hold each other’s hands in the other and still have a relationship that’s at peace.

“But, more than that, just like I would pray for my friends, I hope that she has the peace of God,” Hasselbeck continued. “‘Cause Rosie O’Donnell is still seen and known and loved by God, and I hope that she feels that and I hope that she can find, ultimately, the peace. Even more than I want to be at peace with her, I hope she finds that peace ’cause God wants that for her too.”

More: Meghan McCain calls Trump drama ’emotionally exhausting’ after new John McCain remarks


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  • Twenty-one years ago on Aug. 11, 1997, we were introduced1 of 66
  • Veteran journalist Barbara Walters, seen in 2014, served2 of 66
  • In March of 2015, with her then co-hosts (left to right)3 of 66
  • Walters, with former President Barack Obama in 2010,4 of 66
  • Debbie Matenopoulos, second from right, called Walters5 of 66
  • In her early 20s when she landed the gig, Matenopoulos6 of 66
  • Matenopoulos now serves as host for Hallmark's Home7 of 66
  • Star Jones, second from left with Vieira, Behar and8 of 66
  • Jones with, from left Vieira, Bette Midler, Behar and9 of 66
  • She now served as executive producer and writer on10 of 66
  • Comedian Joy Behar, seen strapping in guest Tom Cruise11 of 66
  • Behar, with from left, Jones, Walters, Ling and Vieira12 of 66
  • She resumed her co-hosting post that she currently13 of 66
  • Meredith Vieira (with Jones), who also served as moderator,14 of 66
  • Seen with model/actress Elle MacPherson, left, in 1997,15 of 66
  • Since she has co-hosted the Today show and hosted16 of 66
  • Ling, left with Walters, occupied the space once filled17 of 66
  • In Halloween costume with her then-co-hosts, from left18 of 66
  • Ling left the show in 2002 to host National Geographic19 of 66
  • Ling was replaced by conservative Survivor castoff20 of 66
  • Hasselbeck's views sometimes clashed with those of21 of 66
  • She left The View in 2013 for a gig with Fox  Friends,22 of 66
  • After Vieira vacated the moderator chair, Rosie O'Donnell23 of 66
  • O'Donnell, pictured in 2006 with Walters, Behar and24 of 66
  • O'Donnell, pictured in New York in 2017, has continued25 of 66
  • Following O'Donnell's first exit, Whoopi Goldberg (pictured26 of 66
  • The current co-host is pictured with, from left, Behar,27 of 66
  • While fulfilling her hosting duties,  Goldberg has28 of 66
  • Also in 2007, Sherri Shepherd, second from right seen29 of 66
  • After discussing hot topics for seven years, Shepherd30 of 66
  • Shepherd seen in Atlanta in February 2017, recently31 of 66
  • Comedian-actress Jenny McCarthy, far left, with Walters,32 of 66
  • During an April 2014 show, she announced her engagement33 of 66
  • McCarthy left The View later that year and currently34 of 66
  • Like McCarthy, Rosie Perez, second from right with,35 of 66
  • Seen during an episode in 2015, she joined the all-female36 of 66
  • Perez, in New York in 2016, has since acted in Search37 of 66
  • Wallace, far right, with Goldberg, Perez and O'Donnell,38 of 66
  • Like Perez, Wallace, seen with from left, Goldberg,39 of 66
  • Since 2017 she has hosted MSNBC's Deadline: White40 of 66
  • Actress Raven-Symone, with Haines, took a position41 of 66
  • Pictured with Sherri Shepherd in 2016, she announced42 of 66
  • She resumed her 'That's So Raven' character for 2017's43 of 66
  • Comedian Michelle Collins, with Orange Is the New44 of 66
  • With Behar and director Quentin Tarantino during her45 of 66
  • She also co-hosted ABC's After Paradise, the after46 of 66
  • In August of 2015, ABC announced actress Candace Cameron47 of 66
  • Celebrating her 40th Birthday on the show in April48 of 66
  • One of her acting gigs includes resuming her childhood49 of 66
  • It was announced in July 2018 that Faris, who joined50 of 66
  • The Michigan native poses with guest co-host Caitlyn51 of 66
  • In a 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporter Faris52 of 66
  • For the show's 20th season, which premiered on Sept.53 of 66
  • Not afraid to get personal on the show, she shared54 of 66
  • ABC News announced in July 2018, Haines with Bila,55 of 66
  • Current co-host Sunny Hostin officially joined the56 of 66
  • Hostin, with, from left, Goldberg, Chelsea Handler57 of 66
  • According to her website, she has covered big legal58 of 66
  • Bila also officially joined 'The View' in Season 20.59 of 66
  • The former Fox News contributor greeted actor Luke60 of 66
  • Bila, seen with her colleague Haines, announced on61 of 66
  • Meghan McCain, seen in 2015, joined 'The View' on Oct.62 of 66
  • McCain, the daughter of Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain63 of 66
  • Abby Huntsman joined The View as a co-host in the64 of 66
  • Huntsman made her debut on Sept. 4, 2018, while co-host65 of 66
  • CNN commentator and Republican Strategist Ana Navarro66 of 66



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