Rosie O’Donnell revealed intimate details about her friendship with former co-host Elizabeth Hasselback.
The 57-year-old comedian and actress said her relationship with Hasselbeck had “underlying lesbian tones,” as reported by US Weekly.
"I wanted to support, raise, elevate her, like she was the freshman star shortstop and I was the captain of the team.”
Rosie O’Donnell at Metrograph on January 23, 2019 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images
O’Donnell, openly lesbian, made the statement as she reflected on her relationship with her former “The View” co-hosts in Ramin Settodeh’s tell-all book “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View.”
Before coming out as a lesbian in 2002, O’Donnell played a lesbian mother in her appearance on the sitcom “Will & Grace.”
The talk show host has been vocal about gay adoption issues. She once protested against adoption agencies, particularly in Florida, that refused adoptive rights to gay and lesbian parents.
Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck at The Broadhurst Theatre in New York in 2006 | Photo: Getty Images
O’Donnell, who ran her own show from 1996 to 2002, also described her time working with Whoopi Goldberg as “the worst experience I’ve ever had on live television.”
O’Donnell’s feud with Kelly Ripa was also featured in the book. The feud started when Ripa allegedly made a homophobic remark against Clay Aiken.
The feud flared up after O’Donnell commented on Ripa’s remark after Aiken put his hand over her mouth while co-hosting on "Live With Regis and Kelly" in November 2006. Ripa said at the time: “I don’t know where that’s been, honey!”
The next day, O’Donnell commented on "The View": “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’ve said a different thing.”
On Hasselbeck, O’Donnell had admitted that she had “a little bit of a crush” on her while they were together on “The View.”
“There was a little bit of a crush,” the television personality said. “But not that I wanted to kiss her. I wanted to support, raise, elevate her, like she was the freshman star shortstop and I was the captain of the team.”
O'Donnell, who first joined "The View" in 2006, then clarified that even though she was attracted to Hasselbeck at the time, she did not want to act on her emotions.
Speaking about their time together on the hit show, O'Donnell revealed that she gave Hasselbeck a piece of advice about debating on television.