Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck seemed like mortal enemies on ‘The View,’ especially when it came to their political feuds. Now Rosie is shockingly admitting to having a ‘crush’ on her co-host.
Season 10 of The View was one of the most-watched ever, mainly because of the addition of outspoken Rosie O’Donnell to the panel and her infamous clashes with conservative younger co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, 41. While on air it seemed at times like they couldn’t stand each other, the 57-year-old comedienne now says she “loved” Elisabeth and even had a “crush” on her. Rosie makes the revelations in the upcoming book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View by our sister site Variety‘s Ramin Setoodeh. Rosie goes into detail about her departure from The View — which happened after an epic 10 minute on-air fight with Elisabeth over the Iraq War — in the chapter titled “My Mouth Is a Weapon.”
“I loved her,” Rosie says of Elisabeth and claimed she wanted to help her younger colleague with on-air debating skills. “Here’s what I said, ‘I’m the senior. She’s the freshman. I’ve got a really good player on the freshman team, but I have to teach her how to loosen up.’”
Rosie says that she felt an attraction to her married mother of three colleague, but never considered acting on it. “There was a little bit of a crush,” she admits. “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,” in a baseball analogy. Then she switches it out to basketball, referring to Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan and his go-to teammate Scottie Pippen. “I was going to Scottie Pippen her. If I was Jordan, I was going to give her and the ball and let her shoot. But it was in no way sexualized.”
Rosie claims that there were currents of lesbianism in her relationship with Elisabeth, but backs it up with the reasoning that it was because the former Survivor contestant played collegiate softball. “I think there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts,” she alleges in the book. “I think this is something that will hurt her if you write it. She was the MVP of a Division 1 softball team for two years that won the finals. There are not many, in my life, girls with such athletic talent on sports teams that are traditionally male that aren’t at least a little bit gay.”
Rosie left the show following the intense May 23. 2007 on-air blowout with Elisabeth, three weeks prior to her scheduled departure as she had revealed the month before that she was unable to come to terms with a second season contract. In the book she reveals that her last day on-air with Elisabeth felt like the breakup of a romantic relationship. “It felt like a lover breaking up. 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.’”
Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View hits bookshelves on April 2.