Leave it to Rosie O’Donnell to come out swinging. In Ramin Setoodeh’s new book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, O’Donnell details her frosty relationship with former co-host Whoopi Goldberg, who she says was “as mean as anyone has ever been” to her. According to People, which obtained a copy of the book, O’Donnell goes on to say that while she once “revered” Goldberg, her experience on The View changed their relationship, as working with Goldberg was “the worse experience [she’s] ever had on live television.”
O’Donnell co-hosted The View two separate times, once from 2006 to 2007 and once from 2014 to 2015. During her second stint on the show — which Ladies Who Punch claims came about in order to “save the show” after Barbara Walters’ departure — things often got fiery between O’Donnell and Goldberg, who clashed over everything from celebrities to politics. According to Setoodeh’s book, O’Donnell began suggesting changes upon her return in 2014, including hosting an earlier morning meeting and covering the rape allegations against Bill Cosby, and Goldberg tried to shut her down. As tension mounted off-screen, it began to play out during the 11 a.m. hour on-screen, as well.
“Some people would say, ‘What’s going on between you and Whoopi?’” O’Donnell recalls in Ladies Who Punch. “I was like, ‘Are you watching the show? It’s pretty much right there.’ I have no desire for a public feud.” According to People, the book claims that O’Donnell would complain about Goldberg to producers — and sometimes even to The View‘s celebrity guests.
“Whoopi Goldberg was as mean as anyone has ever been on television to me, personally — while I was sitting there,” continues O’Donnell. “Worse than Fox News. The worst experience I’ve ever had on live television was interacting with her.”
O’Donnell adds that while she once “revered” Goldberg, that changed after she returned to The View. “She’s a minority, feminist, smart, funny, groundbreaking legend who is black in America. I’m never going to not have respect for Whoopi Goldberg,” says the SMILF star before hedging her statement. “But that was a painful experience, personally and professionally.”
Ramin Setoodeh’s Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View hits bookshelves on April 2.