Known for her often outrageous and sometimes controversial comedy, Chelsea Handler might very well be a nightmare to work for, according to a friend and former employee, Heather McDonald. McDonald worked with Handler on Handler’s E! network show, Chelsea Lately, appearing often as a roundtable guest and says she “lived in fear” of Chelsea.
Set to appear on Matt Weiss and Theo Von’s “Allegedly” podcast this week, McDonald opens up about her days spent working on Chelsea Lately, asserting she wasn’t the only one who was afraid of Handler. According to McDonald, most of the crew lived in fear of Chelsea Handler.
“I lived in fear, 100 percent lived in fear. I enjoyed my time there, I was happy, but something could happen and my heart would be beating and I’d be like ‘is this it?”
Heather also claims she and the crew had no idea Chelsea Lately was coming to an end until the very last minute, and the way the news was delivered was disrespectful. Though there was speculation as to the status of Chelsea’s contract, Heather and the crew still felt blindsided to find out that the show was ending.
“Her manager was on a red carpet and said Chelsea, the show, was ending this year,” McDonald said.
In July 2014, Chelsea announced she was leaving E! to film Chelsea Does for Netflix. After spending eight years on E!, Handler told Howard Stern she was “getting dumber” with each episode of Chelsea Lately that she filmed. She said she wanted to put distance between herself and the “Kardashian-affiliated cable network,” the LA Times reports.
“I think she’s a good person, I don’t agree with how she treats relationships in her life,” McDonald said on the podcast. “I think she’s missing out by dumping people.”
— Real Mr. Housewife™ (@realmrhousewife) December 21, 2015
Needless to say, the two are no longer friends as McDonald added, “When you’re in her life and you’re her friend, it’s the greatest thing. She makes you feel so special until you’re not.”
Chelsea Handler has a procured a seven-year deal with Netflix. Handler’s new four-part docuseries, Chelsea Does, spends each episode tackling a different topic such as drugs, racism and marriage. She says the docuseries will serve as an introduction to her upcoming late-night talk show, which will debut on Netflix in May.
“I know what people think of me. I’m not an idiot. I’m sure they think I drink too much. People never show you the ugly side of things…. But I can be myself and have my same personality and explore richer or more interesting topics. I want these docs to inform viewers of the direction I’m going in with my show. Imagine Google but as a TV show with me as your host — and swearing. You’re finding out information in a cool way that’s fast, so you don’t feel like you’re watching ’60 Minutes.'”
Chelsea Does was executive produced by Morgan Neville, an Oscar-winning filmmaker, who spoke about Handler’s growth from Chelsea Lately to Chelsea Does.
“When I said I was working with Chelsea, I can’t tell you how many people in the industry said, ‘Oh, she’s really smart.’ Even on her E! show, she showed a lot of smarts — she just wanted the chance to flex those muscles in a bigger forum. I don’t think anyone was surprised that she had something to say.”
The full podcast episode of “Allegedly” with Heather McDonald’s interview airs Tuesday, January 19.
Chelsea’s docuseries, Chelsea Does, premieres on Netflix on January 23.
What do you think of Heather McDonald’s claim that she lived in fear of Chelsea Handler?
[Image courtesy of AP]