Barbara Walters hasn’t been seen in public for several years, and now her former View co-star Rosie O’Donnell hints that Walters’ days in the public eye are done for good.
O’Donnell, who logged two abbreviated stints on the ABC daytime talk show, gave a heartbreaking update on Walters — who is still listed as executive producer on The View but is never seen on camera — when asked about her by Us Weekly.
“I don’t think she’s up to speaking to people now. I think she’s a wonderful woman, and it’s hard to age in America, never mind if you’re internationally famous.”
In her update about Walters, O’Donnell also said, “I’ll always love and respect her, and I think she’s a great person.”
Of course, longtime View fans know that the two women had shared a tumultuous relationship when they worked together on the ABC chatfest. In 2007, O’Donnell and Walters got into a feud after Donald Trump claimed that his pal Walters didn’t like Rosie, and regretted hiring her for The View.
In an interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Rosie admitted she got in Walters’ face, backstage, after Trump’s comments about her made headlines.
“I actually do love her … but I did scare her that day because, you know, I’m 200 pounds. When I stand up and I go right in your face and say, you know, ‘What is wrong with you? Do you not have a human heart?'” O’Donnell said of this alleged encounter with Walters.
The former talk show host admitted that she later regretted the backstage fight with the TV news legend, but in a separate interview with Oprah, Walters claimed that no matter how much she defended O’Donnell, it was never enough.
The update from O’Donnell comes just a few weeks after Walters celebrated her 90th birthday, which came and went with little fanfare. A source for Radar Online claimed that Walters had received multiple flower deliveries to her New York City home on her September 25 birthday, but also that no one came to visit her on her milestone day. The celebrity gossip site has also reported that Walters has “been in hiding” since 2016, and that she suffers from dementia.
While the women of The View paid tribute to Walters on her 90th birthday, the ABC News veteran did not make a cameo on the show which she first created back in 1997. Current View moderator Whoopi Goldberg told Extra that reports about Walters’ declining health are exaggerated.
“As far I know, she’s fine. I keep reading stuff that she’s crawling across the tundra. That’s not been my experience with her,” Goldberg said of Walters.
The View airs weekdays on ABC.