Former “View” co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck returned to her old workplace Tuesday to promote her new book about her time on the show. She also responded to the comments Rosie O’Donnell made about having a “crush” on her during their shared time on the ABC talk show, which Hasselbeck called “disturbing” and “objectifying.”
“This is how I believe this needs to be addressed,” Hasselbeck told “The View” ladies in the above clip. “Both truthfully, and maybe where I wouldn’t have addressed it with some grace in years past — and haven’t — I will now. So, two things — one, I think what she said was reckless, untrue, and — not only insulting — disturbing when it comes to how she felt about somebody in the workplace. That somebody happened to be me, but if you replace what Rosie said and you take her name out and you put in Reuben 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.”
The conservative TV personality was responding to comments made by O’Donnell in Ramin Setoodeh’s upcoming book “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View,'” which were published by Variety on Monday.
O’Donnell says in the book she thinks “there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts,” adding, “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.”
According to Variety, O’Donnell also says: “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” and “I was going to Scottie Pippen her. If I was Jordan, I was going to give her and [sic] the ball and let her shoot. But it was in no way sexualized.”
“There were words in her statement that said she had intentionally tried to groom me and take me under her wing… The feeling was not mutual, but I did respect her as a co-host and as a person in the office as I think it should happen in all workplaces,” Hasselbeck said on “The View” Tuesday. “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. Secondly, I think what she said about female athletes – if you’re an athletic girl and you’re competitive and you’re gritty… whatever it is, it’s a lie and it’s reckless to attach a sexuality to that, and I think it’s selfish on her part… Just because you’re athletic, doesn’t have anything to do with your sexual preference. It just doesn’t… I would say this to, I would call her if I had her number – I tried yesterday – I believe that above all, like, I’ve been given a lot of grace by God and I’ve messed a lot of things up and I’ll certainly continue to do so.”
“And so, I feel like I have the grace of forgiveness, I forgive Rosie,” she added. “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. That’s my ultimate prayer. There may be some truth-tackling to be done in it, but it’s not without the grace that I hope that she’s OK, and I hope that she’s at peace, and I hope that she and I can get to a place of peace at some point. But more I want it for her than anything else.”
A spokesperson for GLAAD declined to comment on Hasselbeck’s remarks and representatives for O’Donnell did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request.
However, in a tweet on Tuesday, O’Donnell wrote that her crush on Hasselbeck “was not sexual” and that she “never objectified” her.
“hey eh – my crush on u was not sexual – sorry u got scared – ❤️surely u recall b4 it all went wrong – i never objectified u – i did find u fantastic – broadway shows – my pool -we were friends once,” O’Donnell wrote, adding, “god love ya kid – i always did #hasselbeck #raminSUX.”
hey eh – my crush on u was not sexual – sorry u got scared – ❤️surely u recall b4 it all went wrong – i never objectified u – i did find u fantastic – broadway shows – my pool -we were friends once ❤️ god love ya kid – i always did #hasselbeck #raminSUX
– ROSIE (@Rosie) March 26, 2019
Earlier Tuesday, Hasselbeck addressed O’Donnell’s “crush” reveal during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
“I’ll be very honest, I read it and I immediately started praying,” she said. “Because I’m like, how I’m going to handle this in my old self would be another split screen moment, but now I really feel like by God’s grace, I just started praying — and I pray now the Holy Spirit gives me the words to articulate this — but I think it can be addressed with both truth and grace.”
“I can handle that with the grace of God, because I need grace, and I need his forgiveness,” she added. “So Rosie, I think it was disturbing to read those things and it was offensive to me, but I forgive her. I totally forgive you, Rosie.”