Pop Culture

Rosie O’Donnell Reveals Ellen ‘Hurt Her Feelings’ Over Talk Show Diss: I’ve Never ‘Gotten Over It’

Rosie O’Donnell, 60, and Ellen DeGeneres, 64, are apparently not exactly the best of friends. Their history dates back to when Ellen appeared on The Rosie O’Donnell Show in 1996 and jokingly came out as “Lebanese.” This was before Ellen publicly came out as a lesbian on her sitcom Ellen, and before Rosie confirmed that she was gay in 2002. During the Sept. 15 episode of Watch What Happens Live, Rosie confirmed to host Andy Cohen that she never appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and elaborated more on the tension between her and Ellen.

Rosie; Ellen
Rosie O’Donnell; Ellen DeGeneres (Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

“We had a little bit of a weird thing,” Rosie explained. “After my show went off the air, and her’s was coming on the air, Larry King was on with Ellen and he said, ‘Whatever happened to Rosie O’Donnell? Her show went down the tubes. She came out as a lesbian and disappeared.’ And Ellen said, and I’m quoting, ‘I don’t know Rosie. We’re not friends.’ ”

Rosie said she was so taken aback by Ellen’s comments at the time. “I was in bed with Kelli [her then-partner] and I went, ‘Did I just hear that or was that, like, a hallucination auditory voice?’ I’m like, ‘No’, and that’s what happened, and it hurt my feelings like a baby and I never really got over it.” Rosie confirmed she was invited to appear on Ellen’s show towards the end of its run, telling Andy, “I was gonna go on for SMILF but I wanted to bring someone else with me because I thought it was gonna be a little less awkward. And they didn’t want to do that.”

Although the situation between Rosie and Ellen seems quite complicated, the A League of Their Own actress sent some well-wishes to Ellen when she wrapped up the topic with Andy. “I wish her all good things in her life and that she should be well. So there you go. But I never did it. I never did it,” Rosie said.

Like Rosie, Ellen’s days as a daytime talk show host are behind her. The Ellen DeGeneres Show wrapped up after 19 seasons earlier this year, after some controversy surrounding Ellen and her team. Various employees alleged that the talk show was a “toxic workplace” environment, so Ellen apologized to her staff and addressed the situation publicly on the show.

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