Rosie O’Donnell Reveals Why Working with Whoopi Goldberg on ‘The View’ Was a ‘Painful Experience’

Fresh off the shocking claims Jenny McCarthy made about Barbara Walters, Rosie O’Donnell is spilling the tea about her time on The View. Most notably, she believes that Whoopi Goldberg was “mean” to her.

Rosie O'Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg
Rosie O’Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg | RYAN MCCUNE/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Rosie O’Donnell dishes abou her time on The View

Rosie O’Donnell was a co-host on The View in 2006 through 2007 and returned again in 2014. She replaced Meredith Vieira on the panel initially and often butted heads with conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

She returned in 2014, this time often sparring with Whoopi Goldberg, but announced her departure in 2015, citing a “personal decision.” She released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, remarking: “[My health] got a little bit worse right before the holidays — [my doctor] was kind of concerned… I can’t really fix [my personal life] right away, but I can fix [my job].”

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O’Donnell dishes about her View experience in new book

In Ramin Setoodeh’s new book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, it’s claimed that Lisa Hackner, ABC’s executive vice president of daytime and syndication, told Whoopi Goldberg that bringing O’Donnell back after Barbara Walters left was “to save the show.”

O’Donnell and Goldberg had a major disagreement on the show in 2009, with Goldberg noting that director Roman Polanski hadn’t committed “rape rape,” though he pled guilty to statutorily raping then-13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1979.

O’Donnell told Setoodeh that Goldberg sent her an “angry letter,” with O’Donnell writing back, “I’m sorry if that hurt your feelings. I have different feelings about it than you. And I stand up for what I believe, but I’ll never bet against you, Whoopi Goldberg.”

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O’Donnell and Goldberg continued to have differences of opinion

When O’Donnell returned to The View, she found that Goldberg often disputed her contributions to the show. Their off-screen tension appeared on the show as well, with O’Donnell sharing in the book: “Some people would say, ‘What’s going on with you and Whoopi?’ I was like, ‘Are you watching the show? It’s pretty much right there.’ I have no desire for a public feud.”

O’Donnell further slammed Goldberg for her treatment, noting: “Whoopi Goldberg was as mean as anyone has ever been on television to me, personally — while I was sitting there. Worse than Fox News. The worst experience I’ve ever had on live television was interacting with her.”

Despite the “painful experience,” O’Donnell doesn’t appear to hold a grudge, sharing: “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.”

O’Donnell made claims about Hasselbeck, too

In the book, O’Donnell also shared her experience with Hasselbeck on The View, sharing that she had a “crush” on the conservative co-host, as well as noting there were “underlying lesbian undertones on both parts.”

In response to the comments, Hasselbeck said on The View this week: “What she said was reckless, untrue, and not only insulting, disturbing when it comes to how she felt about somebody in the workplace.”

That said, Hasselbeck explained, “I absolutely forgive her because I was disturbed by what she said and I was offended by it. She has my forgiveness, full heart and I really pray that she can just have the peace that she deserves. That’s my ultimate prayer.”