Michelle Rounds’s life came to a heartbreaking end on Sept. 11, as Rosie O’Donnell’s ex-wife died from an apparent suicide. As Rosie mourns the loss of Michelle, look back at their romance.
The news of Michelle Rounds’ death broke on Sept. 15, four days after she died from an apparent suicide. Rosie O’Donnell, 55, seemed to confirm that her ex-wife’s battles with mental illness played a role in Michelle’s death. “I’m saddened to hear about this terrible tragedy,” Rosie said in a statement, before adding that her thoughts and prayers are with “Michelle’s family, her wife and their child.” Though it had been a year since she and Michelle finalized their divorce, Rosie still felt heartbroken over the news of her ex-wife’s demise. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that these two were deeply in love.
Rosie and Michelle first met at a chance encounter in Starbucks, a source told PEOPLE at the time. Rosie and Michelle, a corporate recruiter for an I.T. company, hit it off, with the source saying they were “adorable together.” Clearly, there was a huge spark, as the two were engaged by the end of the year. Rosie broke the news on The View in December of that year. “Michelle said to me a few months ago, when we got engaged, she said, ‘How come you didn’t say it on your show?’ And I was like, ‘Honey, I don’t know how.’ I didn’t know how to say it,” she said.
Well, Rosie knew how to say “I do,” as the two were married in a private ceremony in New York on June 9, 2012. This wedding came sooner than expected, as Michelle was diagnosed with desmoid tumors, a noncancerous growth that is also known as “aggressive fibromatosis,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Rosie wrote on her blog that she and Michelle wed “in private before her surgery, just the two of us.” A year later, in 2013, the two adopted Dakota O’Donnell, 4. Sadly, their family wouldn’t stay together for long. Rosie and Michelle split in November 2104, and in March 2015, Rosie filed for divorce, citing an “irretrievably broken relationship.”
It turned ugly quickly. Michelle requested sole custody of Dakota (who goes by Dax.) 2015 was hard on Michelle, as she allegedly tried to commit suicide by overdosing on pills. Rosie was instrumental in saving her ex-wife’s life by keeping Michelle on the phone until an ambulance arrived. In October of 2015, Rosie and Michelle settled their divorce, finalizing the paperwork in March 2016. Rosie gained sole custody of Dax, according to Heavy.com, and Michelle would go on to marry Krista Monteleone, with whom she shared one daughter.
Our thoughts are with Michelle’s family and friends during this time of loss.