In an excerpt from Ramin Setoodeh's Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, obtained by InTouch Weekly, O'Donnell explained her "weird feud" with Ripa. During a 2006 episode of Live with Regis and Kelly, Ripa's guest co-host Clay Aiken reached to kiss Ripa's hand, and Ripa said, "I don’t know where that’s been, honey!”
The next day, O'Donnell talked about it on The View. “If that was a straight man, if that was a cute man, if that was a guy she didn’t question his sexuality, she would’ve said a different thing," O'Donnell said at the time. Ripa later called O'Donnell's comments "downright outrageous."
In the new book, O'Donnell told Setoodeh that Aiken visited her to talk about whether or not he should come out as gay.
“I sat down with him and I talked to him. There had been a scandal by this time of the army man, or whatever, website he was on. He was inching his way out in the way so many born-again southern Christians have to," O'Donnell said. "I hugged him. Not only do I feel the twenty-years-older mother thing, I feel the twenty-years-old younger-gay thing. So, I had just held a crying boy and then watched him be gay bashed by Kelly Ripa.”
However, the former American Idol contestant told Setoodeh he was devastated by O'Donnell's comments on The View because he had still not come out publicly at that time.
“I didn’t see it the same way that she did,” the singer explained. “The truth is she outed me in a way, because I had not been out yet. When she said the words, ‘If that was a straight man,’ she was confirming that she knew that I wasn’t. That was the worst day of my life. I don’t think I’d had a moment more devastating to me. I remember feeling like s– that day and totally deflated. But I definitely wasn’t mad at her.”
O'Donnell told Setoodeh she still does not have a good relationship with Ripa, calling her "mean" and said she "doesn't like" her.
“She wanted to have this weird feud. I see her at concerts sometimes," O'Donnell said. "She just looks away.”
A source later told Us Weekly that O'Donnell called Ripa to apologize for the comments, "but she has kept up with this alternate reality for public consumption."
"People around Kelly are confused why Rosie is bringing this up. This is absurd and offensive. Kelly has been supportive of and revered by the LGBTQ community,” another insider said. “She has such love for them and the feeling is returned.”0comments
Ladies Who Punch will be released on April 2. The book includes several other revelations, including new details on O'Donnell's "crush" on Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
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