Rosie O’Donnell is not a fan of Ramin Setoodeh’s buzzy book about The View. The 57-year-old former talk show host told Us Weekly that she wishes she never agreed to be interviewed by the author of Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View.
“My biggest regret was ever sitting down with him for 20 minutes, and that’s exactly what I did to appease my publicist. But it’s my biggest regret.”
In the interview for the controversial tell-all about the ABC chatfest, O’Donnell dredged up old drama that took place on The View, which she co-hosted for two brief stints from 2006 to 2007 and 2014 to 2015. O’Donnell’s interview for the book has now created new drama with some of her former co-stars.
In the book, O’Donnell discussed her headline-making, split-screen feud with Elisabeth Hasselbeck and admitted she had a bit of a crush on her View co-star. But the openly gay Rosie also hinted that there were “underlying lesbian undertones on both parts,” and she gave Setoodeh details that she believed would hurt Hasselbeck if he wrote about it. O’Donnell was later blasted for saying females with athletic prowess in traditionally male sports, such as Hasselbeck, who was an MVP in Division I college softball, are usually “at least a little bit gay.”
Elisabeth Hasselbeck later responded that she is “praying” for O’Donnell. According to Entertainment Tonight, during an appearance on Tuesday’s Fox & Friends, Hasselbeck called O’Donnell’s unfair stereotype “selfish” and “untrue,” but said she will forgive her estranged former co-worker and wishes her “the peace of God.”
O’Donnell also had some words about Kelly Ripa in Ladies Who Punch more than a decade after she accused the Live with Kelly and Ryan star of being homophobic. In 2006, co-host Clay Aiken jokingly put his hand over Kelly Ripa’s mouth during a guest-hosting on Live With Regis and Kelly. An irritated Kelly reportedly said, “I just don’t know where that hand’s been, honey.”
The next day, Rosie O’Donnell used her forum on The View to publicly call Ripa a homophobe.
“Now listen, to me that was a homophobic remark. If that was a straight man, if that was a cute man, if that was a guy that she didn’t question his sexuality, she would have said a different thing,” Rosie told her co-hosts on The View, per ABC News.
Ripa promptly called into the live ABC talk show to blast O’Donnell.
“He reached across and covered my mouth with his hands,” Ripa said of Aiken. “He’s shaking hands with everybody in the audience. And it’s cold and flu season. That’s what I meant. And to imply that it’s anything homophobic is outrageous, Rosie, and you know it.”
But in the Ladies Who Punch book, Rosie is quoted as calling Ripa a gay-basher.
“I had just held a crying boy and then watched him be gay-bashed by Kelly Ripa,” O’Donnell said in the book. “I think Kelly Ripa is mean and she doesn’t like me, and she has never wanted to discuss what happened. She wanted to have this weird feud.”
Ripa’s camp is now confused why Rosie O’Donnell is bringing up the story again more than a decade later. The former View star reportedly apologized to Ripa in 2006.
While Rosie O’Donnell regrets bringing up old feuds in The View tell-all, the author says he is “grateful” that the former ABC star sat down with him for “an honest conversation” for the book.
“She fundamentally changed The View and is an influential part of the show’s history,” Setoodeh told Us Weekly of Rosie O’Donnell.
Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View is available in bookstores now.