News and Commentary

Rosie O’Donnell Talks About ‘Crush’ On Elisabeth Hasselbeck: ‘Lesbian Undertones On Both Parts.’ A Fiery Hasselbeck Responds.

A fiery Elisabeth Hasselbeck ripped former colleague Rosie O’Donnell over “objectifying” comments she made about Hasselbeck in her new book, “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View.'”

While O’Donnell worked alongside Hasselbeck on ABC’s “The View” in 2006-07, she developed a “crush” on the sole conservative voice opposite her, she reveals in the book. But O’Donnell’s comments on Hasselbeck became increasing bizarre from there. Using a deluge of sports metaphors, O’Donnell talks about how she attempted to groom Hasselbeck, whom she viewed as a “freshman” talent, and claims the two shared mutual “lesbian undertones.” Evidencing Hasselbeck’s alleged lesbian leanings, O’Donnell oddly pointed to the mother of three’s success as a college softball player. Seriously.

Here’s the controversial excerpt from the book, as reported by Variety (emphasis added):

Joy Behar speculated that O’Donnell had a crush on Hasselbeck, which O’Donnell confirms in the book. “I think there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts,” O’Donnell says about her working relationship with Hasselbeck. O’Donnell backed up this idea with some dubious evidence. “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.

Although O’Donnell was attracted to Hasselbeck, she never wanted to act on it. There was a little bit of a crush,” O’Donnell says in the book. “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.” O’Donnell changed sports metaphors from baseball to basketball. 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.”

O’Donnell said that she was deeply hurt by Hasselbeck, and their fight on TV was about more than just politics. The final straw was when Hasselbeck wouldn’t defend O’Donnell from conservative critics. It felt like a lover breaking up,O’Donnell says about her last day on TV with Hasselbeck. 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.’”

Hasselbeck appeared on “The View” on Tuesday — though she is no longer a cast member — and rebuked O’Donnell’s comments as workplace misconduct and underscored her former colleague’s apparent lesbian privilege.

Hasselbeck described the remarks as “reckless,” “untrue,” “insulting,” and “disturbing,” E! News reported.

“That person happened to be me,” she explained. “But if you replace what Rosie said and you take her name out and you put in Ruben or Robert, then we would be in a situation where you would see the objectification of a woman in the workplace.”

“And that’s disturbing because where we may be really against that when it comes from a man to a woman, you don’t get a pass because you’re a lesbian objectifying a woman in the workplace. You just don’t,” Hasselbeck added.

The conservative voice noted she was disturbed over the “words in [O’Donnell’s] statement that said she had intentionally tried to groom me and take me under her wing.”

She made it clear to O’Donnell that “the feeling was not mutual,” Hasselbeck noted, though she “did respect her as a co-host and as a person in the office—as I think it should happen in all workplaces.”

“But I think what we’re hearing is: We should be as disturbed about that in this case as we have been in the fact if her name was Robert,” she reiterated.

The former “Fox & Friends” co-host took issue with O’Donnell’s lesbian stereotyping of female athletes: “it’s a lie and it’s reckless to attach a sexuality” to a female’s participation and ability in athletics.

However, the Christian mother said she forgives O’Donnell for the hurtful comments, and hopes they can reconcile.

“I believe that above all, like, I’ve been given a lot of grace by God, and I mess a lot of things up and I certainly will continue to do so,” Hasselbeck said. “I feel like I have the grace of forgiveness and that I forgive Rosie. 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.”

“I hope that she’s at peace, and I hope that she and I can get to a place of peace at some point,” she added. “But more, I want it for her than anything else. So, that’s all I have about that.”