Rosie O’Donnell’s Rage Lawsuit Allegedly Started Over ISIS
A former producer at The View is suing the show’s former co-host after the two fought about who would cover an ISIS beheading.
Rosie O’Donnell might not be facing her latest legal woes if it weren’t for ISIS.
The ex-View host is being sued by one of the daytime talk show’s former producers, who accuses O’Donnell of abusing The View staffers and fighting with her co-hosts—behavior that allegedly came to a head during a staff dispute over the show’s ISIS coverage.
Jennifer Shepard-Brookman, a producer with The View for 14 years, says the actress accused her of leaking stories to the press and giving preferential treatment to Whoopi Goldberg. According to the Daily Mail, Brookman and O’Donnell had a falling out after Goldberg was assigned the lead role in reporting ISIS’s beheading of American journalist James Foley.
After the segment, O’Donnell cornered Brookman, grabbing “the arms of the chair in which Ms. Brookman was sitting, leaning very close to her face, and prohibiting her from leaving, while continuing to aggressively and loudly berate her for giving the coverage of the story to Ms. Goldberg,” according to the suit.
“My client started crying,” Brookman’s attorney told Page Six. “She was scared of Rosie and thought she was going to be assaulted.”
In a segment later that month, O’Donnell speculated that the U.S.-led bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria was motivated by a “financial agenda.”
Brookman describes O’Donnell as a persistent abuser of staffers, behavior that allegedly earned her the name “The Beast” among the show’s crew. According to the suit, O’Donnell would frequently yell at her offscreen coworkers, and needed to be restrained multiple times when berating Brookman.
“Rosie had to be physically restrained from [Brookman], her own people had to drag her away. Many people witnessed it,” a source told the Mail.
O’Donnell also allegedly accused Brookman of leaking insider information to the media, a claim Brookman denies. Brookman emailed O’Donnell about the leak accusations and was fired two weeks later, the suit says.
O’Donnell has spoken publicly about her anger issues before. In 2011, she opened up to Oprah Winfrey about receiving estrogen treatments in her efforts to deal with her well-publicized rageaholism.
“I had, like, zero estrogen,” she told Oprah. “And since I got some, I’ve been able to function more normally. I’ve stopped being so angry. You know, I think I had a lot more rage than I was aware of.”
Tensions weren’t always running this high between the ex-producer and ex-host. Shortly before their alleged ISIS-related confrontation in September 2014, O’Donnell, who orginally co-hosted the show for one season in 2006, surprised Brookman with baked goods.
“[Thank] you for the yummy cupcakes today!!! So nice of you. Looking forward to working together again!!!” Brookman tweeted earlier that month.
Days later, by the lawsuit’s timeline, O’Donnell was pinning Brookman to a chair.
Brookman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.