Rosie O'Donnell Just Revealed New Details of Feud With Elisabeth Hasselbeck
She quit the show after a fight with her sometimes-friend, sometimes-adversary.
Regular viewers of The View are used to watching co-hosts clash onscreen, but not every conflict plays out in front of the cameras. Certain cast members have feuded behind the scenes as well, and some are more willing than others to discuss those run-ins publicly. In a new interview, former The View co-host Rosie O'Donnell opened up her contentious relationship with co-star Elisabeth Hasselbeck, which was sometimes friendly and sometimes not. Read on to find out how O'Donnell says a producer of the show sowed discord between the two and when she got to her breaking point.
READ THIS NEXT: Barbara Walters Claimed She Was Forced Off The View, Co-Host Says.
The co-hosts only shared the screen for one season.
Hasselbeck was a panelist on The View for 10 years, from 2003 to 2013. O'Donnell had two short stints on the show—from 2006 to 2007 and then again from 2013 to 2014. They only overlapped for the 10th season of the daytime talk show. The other cast members on that season were Joy Behar and Barbara Walters.
O'Donnell says a producer fed Hasselbeck talking points.
O'Donnell was the guest on the latest episode of the podcast Now What? With Brooke Shields, and she made some claims that Hasselbeck was given special treatment because her viewpoints were aligned with series co-creator and former executive producer, Bill Geddie.
"Elisabeth Hasselbeck was on there, and Bill Geddie was the producer of an all-woman talk show and supposedly a woman's voice was a man, an old, cis, white man Republican who was against everything that I believed in and stood for, and he loved Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and would go into her little dressing room and give her notes and talking points of the Republican press that they'd release daily," O'Donnell told Shields (via Entertainment Weekly). "I was trying to get her to feel more than to fact, I'm like, 'But what do you feel about this?' I tried."
O'Donnell went on to say that she reached out to Hasselbeck by trying to forge a personal friendship with her outside of work. "Here's what I did," she continued. "When I took the job, I said to myself, I'm going to love her no matter what. I took her to her first Broadway show, I took her kids to see the Nickelodeon shows with me and my kids, I had her to my house."
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Their friendship ended in a blowout on the show.
In May 2007, Hasselbeck and O'Donnell were at the center of one of the most infamous arguments in the history of The View. The politically opposed co-hosts got into a discussion about the Iraq War that turned aggressive and personal, including O'Donnell accusing Hasselbeck of not defending her when comments she made on a previous episode were taken out of context in the media. That would spell the end of O'Donnell's first run of the show.
At her request, ABC released her from her contract three weeks early. Sixteen years later, she evidently hasn't forgiven her former co-star.
"One day on the show she kind of threw me under the bus and I was like, 'Are you [expletive] kidding me?'" she said on Shields' podcast. "I finished the show, got my coat, walked out, and said I'm not going back, and I didn't, until a few years later when they asked me to come back and Whoopi [Goldberg] was on it and we clashed in ways that I was shocked by."
Goldberg and O'Donnell were often at odds when they shared the screen in Season 18, and O'Donnell has accused her former co-star of being "mean" to her for no good reason.
O'Donnell said that she had a "crush" on Hasselbeck.
In Ramin Setoodeh's 2019 book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of "The View" (via Variety), O'Donnell is quoted as saying of her friendship with Hasselbeck, "There was a little bit of a crush. 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."
She also added that their drag-out fight "felt like a lover breaking up" with her. "The fight that we had, to me as a gay woman, it felt like this: 'You don't love me as much as I love you.' 'I've taken care of you.' 'You have not.' 'How could you do that to me?' 'I didn't do anything to you,'" O'Donnell said.
For her part, Hasselbeck said in a guest appearance on The View shortly after those comments were made public that what O'Donnell said about her was "reckless" and "untrue, but added that she "has [her] forgiveness." O'Donnell tweeted in response that her crush "was not sexual," adding, "we were friends once ❤️ god love ya kid – i always did."