O'Donnell had many heated moments on the ABC daytime talk show, but the worst of them may not have been on camera. O'Donnell spoke to author Ramin Setoodeh for a new book titled Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Story of The View. In a new excerpt published by Vanity Fair, she talked about how she and Walters came to blows over Donald Trump.
The encounter started with O'Donnell's infamous mockery of Trump in 2006, when she impersonated him on air. O'Donnell made fun of his history of infidelity, his reported bankruptcy and, of course, his hair.
"Sit and spin, my friend," she said at the time. Walters was on vacation during the segment, and Trump called The View executive producer Bill Geddie to complain. That was the beginning of years of enmity between O'Donnell and Trump, who has even fired off insults at O'Donnell since becoming president.
O'Donnell was reportedly upset by Walters' response to Trump's attacks. She felt that her co-host was not doing enough to stand by her side through the public feud. Current co-host Joy Behar told Setoodeh that "Rosie wanted to be defended."
According to the excerpt, O'Donnell "lost it" when Walters returned to work, and started "to berate" her backstage. Geddie called it "the moment she went at Barbara."
"I definitely yelled," O'Donnell said. "I said how disappointed I was and how shocked and hurt I was that she wouldn't stand up for me. I felt very betrayed about her going behind my back and speaking to Donald Trump in Trumpian language. I said something about her daughter, which I should not have said. But I did."
What she was was reportedly: "No wonder Jackie can't stand you."
"Do not speak about my daughter," Walters replied.
According to Geddie, Walters was caught off guard by the confrontation, especially since O'Donnell did it in front of a room full of people.
"I can't tell you everything she said, but it was nasty," he remembered. "And she does it for about 40 seconds, maybe a minute. I finally said, 'Enough. You can't talk to her anymore like this.' And she turned on me, saying how much she hated me for a variety of reasons."0comments
The argument seems to have been the beginning of the end for O'Donnell, who left The View unexpectedly in April 2007. The book also details her on-air fight with Elisabeth Hasselbeck, which was reportedly the final straw for ABC.
Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View is available for pre-order, and will be out officially on April 2. The full excerpt is available in Vanity Fair.