‘The View’: Are Former Co-Hosts Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Rosie O’Donnell Friends?

The View has cycled through 11 different co-hosts over its more than 20-year span. Two of the more controversial hosts, Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Rosie O’Donnell, departed in different years, respectively. Their on-air argument ended in tabloid fodder for years to come. Are the two friends now?

Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Rosie O’Donnell had a falling out on ‘The View’

'The View'
All 11 co-hosts of ‘The View’ to celebrate the shows creator Barbara Walters | Lou Rocco/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

At Barbara Walters’s helm, Hasselbeck joined The View’s co-host roster in 2003. Fresh off her stint on the reality TV show Survivor, Hasselbeck was no stranger to, well, surviving.

Three years later, O’Donnell joined, too. She and Hasselbeck had vastly different political opinions that would eventually strip them of their places on the panel.

In 2007, O’Donnell asked a rhetorical question about the military during a segment.

“Sixty-hundred-and-fifty-five-thousand Iraqi civilians dead. Who are the terrorists?” Rosie said. “If you were in Iraq and another country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us?”

It was later said that neither host left due to any bad blood. O’Donnell claimed it had to do with salary negotiations and her not wanting to sign on for three more years.

The discussion went on through multiple shows

A few days later, Hasselbeck asked O’Donnell to clarify her comments, but O’Donnell refused to respond. Things escalated further two days later when O’Donnell explained why she wouldn’t comment further.

“Because here’s how it gets spun in the media: ‘Rosie, big fat lesbian loud Rosie, attacks innocent, pure Christian Elisabeth,'”

“I just don’t understand why it’s my fault if people spin words that you put out there or phrases that suggest things,” Elisabeth explained. “And I gave you an opportunity two days ago to clarify the statement that got you in trouble on all those things.”

Rosie responded by asking Elisabeth if “as her friend,” she believed that “troops were terrorists.” Elisabeth eventually responded and said no but told her she needed to “defend her own insinuations.” In response, Rosie called Elisabeth a “coward.”

The heated exchange led to O’Donnell taking a three-week break before her contract ended. Although she admitted she didn’t like the split-screen on the TV as they argued and that she was “hurt by Elizabeth.”

The two had different responses on how they felt about one another

A week later, Hasselbeck said the two had been working on forgiveness, but O’Donnell told a different tale saying on her blog they “hadn’t spoken.”

“I never tried harder to be friends with someone than I did with her,” Rosie allegedly said on her website. “But I don’t think we ever got there, or anywhere close.”

O’Donnell left for the first time (she came back around), but Hasselbeck wasn’t fired until 2013.

In Hasselbeck’s March 2019 memoir, Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith, and Freedom, she said she’d been invited back to co-host the show but she turned it down.

O’Donnell faced controversy with her comments about Hasselbeck

Though O’Donnell returned to the show only to leave it again in 2015, an excerpt from the book, The Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, by journalist, Ramin Setoodah, Rosie said she had “a bit of a crush” on Hasselbeck and “loved her.”

“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 said. “I was going to Scottie Pippen her. If I was Jordan, I was going to give her the ball and let her shoot. But it was in no way sexualized.”

More than that, O’Donnell’s elaboration indicated something more.

“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.”

Hasselbeck appeared on The View to promote her own book around the same time. She addressed O’Donnell’s comments saying they were, “reckless, untrue, and not only insulting, [but] disturbing when it comes to how she felt about somebody in the workplace.”

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She continued, “whether you’re a man or whether you’re a woman, and you’re objectifying women in the workplace, it’s wrong.”

In the end, Hasselbeck said she hopes they can “be at peace” and that they can “hold our beliefs in one hand and hold each other’s hand in the other and still have a relationship that’s at peace.”

O’Donnell later told Us Weekly those comments and participating in Setoodah’s book are her “biggest regret.”

Are the two former co-hosts friends now?

It may be no coincidence that Hasselbeck didn’t mention O’Donnell in her book. Months later, there doesn’t seem to be any continued back-and-forth between (or about) the two.

Work relationships end all the time. The one between Hasselbeck and O’Donnell may be one that can never recover. For now, there doesn’t appear to be any indication they’re friends or even acquaintances.