Former ESPN anchor Sage Steele accused the late, longtime journalist Barbara Walters of physically attacking her backstage during an instance when she appeared on “The View.”
“Barbara Walters, she attacked you? Wait what?!” Megyn Kelly questioned Steele, who sat in as a guest on her SiriusXM show, “The Megyn Kelly Show,” which aired on Thursday.
Steele said the incident took place after a segment centered on former President Barack Obama in 2014.
“It was Barbara, Whoopi, and myself in the dark greenroom on the side,” Steele explained.
“I was probably 4 feet from the wall and the trash can and Barbara was standing over here in front of me and she just started to back up towards me and looked at me and got close and elbowed me and it pushed me back into the wall and the trash can,” Steele continued. “I was like, ‘What did [she] just do to me? This 140-year-old woman just tried to like tackle me.’”
Steele went on, saying she was completely thrown off by the alleged assault, and that “The View” cohost, Whoopi Goldberg, consoled her afterward.
“Some of the producers saw it,” Steele continued. “Whoopi saw it and she was like, ‘Come here.’ And she was great. And she pulled me aside in her little area and she’s like, ‘Don’t you let her do it.’ I’m like, am I in a movie right now? One of the legends that in this industry just tried to beat me up!”
It wasn’t the first time Steele has mentioned her tensions with the late journalist. During an appearance on “Uncut with Jay Cutler,” Steele opened up about an alleged moment when Walters criticized Steele on “The View” for identifying as biracial after Walters brought up Obama’s decision to identify solely as Black despite being half-white and half-Black.
On Tuesday, Steele officially left ESPN after settling a lawsuit with the network.
Steele sued ESPN and its parent company Disney in April for breach of contract, claiming bosses benched her over her comments on the Cutler podcast. A spokesperson for the network told TheWrap that ESPN “mutually agreed to part ways” with Steele.
TheWrap has reached out to “The View” and Whoopi Goldberg for request for comment.