Rosie O'Donnell Reveals Father Sexually Abused Her When She Was 'Very Young'

Rosie O'Donnell has always been candid about her past, but in the upcoming book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, the comedian opens up even more with allegations that her father sexually abused her.

O'Donnell detailed the allegations while discussing with author and Variety New York bureau chief Ramin Setoodeh. According to PEOPLE, it is the first she discussed the alleged abuse by her late father, Edward Joseph, who died in 2015.

"It started very young," the former host and comedian said to Setoodeh while describing the alleged abuse. "And then when my mother died, it sort of ended in a weird way, because then he was with these five children to take care of."

O'Donnell's mother, Roseann, passed away when the host was only 10 years old after battling breast cancer. She has opened up about her loss numerous times in the past, with Variety noting it helped shape the rest of her life.

She goes on to describe why she has chosen not to talk about it over the years.

"Of course, it changes everyone. Any child who is put in that position, especially by someone in the family, you feel completely powerless and stuck," O'Donnell said before adding that the person you would normally tell in the one committing the alleged acts.

According to Variety, O'Donnell has been a longtime advocate for sexual abuse victims despite her silence on her own experiences. In the past, she's spoken out and taken strong stances on several prominent names accused of being sexual predators in Hollywood. This includes Bill Cosby and Woody Allen, with O'Donnell being one of the first to say she believes allegations made by Dylan Farrow.

"I'm very anti-Roman Polanski and anti-Woody Allen," O'Donnell says in the book according to Variety. "It's a pretty clear line for me."


O'Donnell's personal allegations of sexual abuse come up during a portion of the book focusing on The Rosie O'Donnell Show that ruled daytime talk from 1996 until 2002. She later joined The View as moderator for one year from 2006-2007, returning in September 2014 for six months after the retirement of Barbara Walters. As Variety points out, her time on the panel show marked a far more political turn than her sunny daytime talk stint.

Ladies Who Punch will be released on April 2 via St. Martin's Press.