Rosie says she didn't hide her sexuality from her publisher. The star says she came out up front -- and revealed she was quitting TV -- before signing for her magazine

By Brian Hiatt
November 07, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

She may not have lived up to her Queen of Nice rep, but Rosie O’Donnell testified on Thursday that she was, at least, honest with the publisher of her defunct magazine. The star took the stand to testify that she told the publisher from the start that she was a lesbian and that she planned to quit her TV show. Despite that, he still gave her creative freedom on the publication, O’Donnell testified, according to the Associated Press.

Publisher Daniel Brewster earlier testified that he had no idea O’Donnell would come out and quit her show until after the deal for the Rosie magazine was signed. Brewster’s company, Gruner+Jahr USA, is suing O’Donnell for allegedly breaching her contract by leaving the magazine; O’Donnell is countersuing, accusing the publisher of violating their contract by excluding her from important editorial decisions.

O’Donnell also said Thursday that Oprah Winfrey’s success with O convinced her that starting a magazine was a possibility, but said that the publisher initially had trouble convincing her to do it, according to AP. An impassioned plea from Brewster finally did the track, she said, adding: ”He said I would add a much-needed voice to the world of women’s magazines.”