‘The View’: Rosie O’Donnell Said Her Feud With Kelly Ripa Was ‘About Many Things’

Rosie O’Donnell made plenty of waves during her stints on The View. Serving as moderator from 2006 to 2007 and later as co-host from 2014 to 2015, the comedian had a few on-air feuds with some high-profile personalities. One dustup occurred on the air when talk show star Kelly Ripa called in to the show to have it out with O’Donnell.

'The View' alum Rosie O'Donnell and 'Live with Kelly and Ryan' star Kelly Ripa stand arm-in-arm, both wearing black, during The Mandarin Oriental Hotel at Gilda's Club Annual Gala
Rosie O’Donnell and Kelly Ripa | Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

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‘The View’ alum Rosie O’Donnell didn’t like Kelly Ripa’s comment to Clay Aiken

In 2006, former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken subbed for Regis Philbin alongside Ripa on Live with Regis and Kelly. The two clearly lacked chemistry from the start. Aiken apparently felt like he wasn’t getting a chance to speak, where at one point in the show he put his hand over Ripa’s mouth to get her to stop talking. Ripa took Aiken to task, saying, “I don’t know where that hand has been, honey!” 

O’Donnell took offense to the interaction, and vocalized her feelings on The View. She considered Ripa’s comment a “homophobic remark.”

“If that was a straight man, if that was a cute man, if that was a guy that she didn’t question his sexuality,” O’Donnell remarked, according to  Us Weekly, “she would’ve said a different thing.”

Kelly Ripa confronted Rosie O’Donnell on ‘The View’

Ripa heard of O’Donnell’s remarks about her and wanted to clear the air, which she chose to do when The View was live.

“She called in to the show, wanting to have it out with me on the air,” O’Donnell wrote in her 2007 memoir Celebrity Detox of the live call. “Which she did. They put her live on the phone. How dare I. I should know better. She has germophobia. She likes gay people. I am irresponsible. Yes, well, okay. Got it!”

In her book, O’Donnell explained that her comments about Ripa were merely her perspective and she felt compelled to share her view (pardon the pun).

“I am just saying that the whole incident looked to me like a gay person who had just had the gay card played on them,” the former co-host of The View said. “That’s how I saw it. The Kelly Ripa Feud was about many things for me: fairness, trust, respect.”

Rosie O’Donnell took issue with ‘The View’s’ executive producer

O’Donnell was upset with Ripa’s call being put through while The View was on the air. She felt she was ambushed and chided the show’s executive producer for allowing the exchange.

“Bill Geddie thinks that makes good TV—two women fighting.” O’Donnell said of the EP in Ramin Setoodah’s 2019 book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View. “I said, ‘Excuse me Bill, that would be the first time that you sabotaged me live on the air. It will not happen again.'”

As for her relationship with Ripa, O’Donnell revealed that the two didn’t necessarily patch things up.

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“I think Kelly Ripa is mean and she doesn’t like me, and she has never wanted to discuss what happened,” O’Donnell told Setoodah. “She wanted to have this weird feud. I see her at concerts sometimes. She just looks away.”

O’Donnell left The View in 2007. She returned in 2014 but exited the show shortly after in 2015.