Former Fox & Friends host Elisabeth Hasselbeck returned to her old show Tuesday, describing the news that former colleague Rosie O’Donnell had a “crush” on her while they were filming The View as “disturbing” and “wrong.”
“I read it, and I immediately started praying,” Hasselbeck said. “If you took her words and you replaced ‘Rosie’ for ‘Ronald,’ there would be an objectification of women in the workplace, so that is disturbing and it’s wrong.”
“Whether you’re a man or a woman and you’re objectifying a woman in the workplace, it’s wrong,” she added.
O’Donnell admitted the revelation in a new book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, from Variety reporter Ramin Setoodeh. Hasselbeck and O’Donnell publicly feuded during Season 10 of the show, which aired from 2006 to 2007.
“I loved her,” O’Donnell says in the book, according to Variety. “There was a little bit of a crush. 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.”
But O’Donnell clearly felt more.
“I think there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts,” O’Donnell said. “I think this is something that will hurt her if you write it. She was the MVP of a Division I 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.”
“It felt like a lover breaking up,” O’Donnell said about her last day on the show 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.’”
Back on the Fox & Friends couch, Hasselbeck took issue with what she called O’Donnell’s “casting a stereotype on female athletes.”
“That’s an unfair stereotype, and it seems selfish in a way, and I think that it’s untrue,” she said.
Hasselbeck added, “It was disturbing to read those things, and it was offensive to me, but I forgive her. I totally forgive you, Rosie.”