Roșie O’Donnell appears on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. (YouTube/ Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen)
Lesbian talkshow icon Rosie O’Donnell has described a very “weird thing” with Ellen DeGeneres that she’s never managed to get over.
O’Donnell has been credited with paving the way for DeGeneres, whose talkshow The Ellen DeGeneres Show recently ended after running for 19 seasons from 2003 to 2022.
The Rosie O’Donnell Show began in 1996, but in 2002, O’Donnell came out as a lesbian during a speech at a charity benefit, where she announced: “I’m a dyke!”
“I don’t know why people make such a big deal about the gay thing, she said. “People are confused, they’re shocked like this is a big revelation to somebody.” Just two months later, her talkshow was cancelled.
Five years later however, as DeGeneres’ show was taking off, something very “weird” happened.
Appearing on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen this week, host Andy Cohen asked why O’Donnell had never been a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
She explained: “We had a little bit of a weird thing.
“After my show went off the air and hers 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.’”
She continued: “I was in bed with Kelli, and I said, ‘Did I just hear that or was that a hallucination?’
“It hurt my feelings, like a baby, and I never really got over it.”
O’Donnell added that she was asked to appear on the show towards the end of its run, but when staff refused her request to bring someone with her, she decided against it.
She added: “I wish her all good things in her life and that she should be well, so there you go.”