Rosie O’Donnell has spoken out about her experience on The View in Ramin Setoodeh’s new book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View.
In Us Weekly’s exclusive excerpt from the book, O’Donnell explained an incident between Kelly Ripa and Clay Aiken when he co-hosted Live With Regis and Kelly in 2006.
Aiken placed his hand over Ripa’s mouth and she said, “I don’t know where that’s been, honey!” The next day on The View, O’Donnell claimed that Ripa’s response was “a homophobic remark.” She added, “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.”
O’Donnell stated that Aiken came on the view a few days before this incident. “He had come into my dressing room, crying about whether or not to come out. And I sat down with him and I talked to him. He was inching his way out in the way so many born-again Southern Christians have to. I hugged him. Not only do I feel the twenty-years-older mother thing, I feel the twenty-years-old younger-gay thing.”
“So I had just held a crying boy and then watched him be gay bashed by Kelly Ripa,” Rosie said.
“I think Kelly Ripa is mean and she doesn’t like me, and she has never wanted to discuss what happened,” Rosie said in the book. “She wanted to have this weird feud. She’s the girl from Pine Valley. She and her husband met on the show. That’s my f–king sweet spot. I would have loved her my whole life. I see her at concerts sometimes. She just looks away.”
O’Donnell also opened up about her feud with Whoopi Goldberg on the daytime talk show. “Whoopi Goldberg was as mean as anyone has ever been on television to me, personally—while I was sitting there,” she said. “Worse than FOX News. The worst experience I’ve ever had on live television was interacting with her.”
“Some people would say, ‘What’s going on with you and Whoopi?'” she continued. “I was like, ‘Are you watching the show? It’s pretty much right there.’ I have no desire for a public feud.”
“I thought my head was going to explode,” O’Donnell told Setoodeh. “My doctor called me and said, ‘Come in right now. Your heart rate during that is dangerous for you. I don’t want you doing that show anymore.'”
O’Donnell added, “She’s a minority, feminist, smart, funny, groundbreaking legend who is black in America. I’m never going to not have respect for Whoopi Goldberg. But that was a painful experience, personally and professionally.”
To pre-order a copy of the book, click here.