Despite having a contentious on-screen relationship, it sounds like Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselback had a very different rapport off screen, according to O’Donnell’s upcoming tell-all.
In O’Donnell’s new book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, the actress opens up about her time on the daytime show and why she developed a crush on the Survivor alum.
“I think there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts,” the 57-year-old wrote, according to an excerpt obtained by Variety.
“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.”
She continued, “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.”
O’Donnell famously quit the show three weeks before her contract was up in 2007 following a vicious argument with Hasselbeck over the Iraq War.
“It felt like a lover breaking up. 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,’” she said.
However, despite having some feelings, O’Donnell wasn’t interested in taking her crush further.
“[It’s] 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. … I was going to Scottie Pippen her,” she wrote.
“If I was [Michael] Jordan, I was going to give her… the ball and let her shoot. But it was in no way sexualized.”
She continued, “Here’s what I said, ‘I’m the senior. She’s the freshman. I’ve got a really good player on the freshman team, but I have to teach her how to loosen up.’”