Roseanne Barr is opening up about her time away from the spotlight after her show Roseanne was canceled.
In a new interview with The Washington Post, she revealed that she was suicidal in the midst of the backlash directed towards her, which began when she compared former presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett to a member of the "Muslim brotherhood" and a character in Planet of the Apes.
As the comedian faced massive amount of scrutiny, she credited and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach for pulling her out of her spiral and giving her a platform to address the controversy.
“Shmuley saved my life,” Barr said. “I was suicidal. He was the only person who stood by me and said they were (not) going to destroy me because I love Trump and Israel.”
The profile also shed light on ABC's strategy for handling Barr's infamously dicey Twitter presence. They did impose a "no-tweet" rule for her, but apparently made sure she knew there could be consequences to her often-controversial posts.
“It was always this back and forth of ABC not wanting to appear they were censoring Roseanne but also not quite pulling out the big guns,” said Barr's publicist, James Moore. “Going, ‘You’re one tweet away from us canceling the show.’ Something that would jar Roseanne.”
Barr then also conveyed what she told ABC execs after they confronted her about the Jarrett tweet, and she offered little in the form of an apology.
“I’m a comedian,” Barr said. “We step in s— all the time. I already took it down. What else can I do?”
As for the Jarrett comment, Barr has previously apologized, saying she never would have used the Planet of the Apes reference if she knew Jarrett was black.
“I’m a lot of things, a loud mouth and all that stuff,” Barr said Boteach's podcast shortly after the controversy. “But I’m not stupid, for God’s sake. I never would have wittingly called any black person, I never would have said, ‘They are a monkey.’ I just wouldn’t do that. And people think that I did that, it just kills me. I didn’t do that. And if they do think that, I’m just so sorry that I was unclear and stupid. I’m very sorry.”
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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