Elisabeth Hasselbeck reacts to Rosie O'Donnell's crush confession: 'I immediately started praying'
The Survivor contestant turned political pundit appeared on Tuesday’s episode of Fox & Friends, where she opened up about O’Donnell’s remarks in Ramin Setoodeh’s upcoming book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View.
“The truth is, what she said, if you took her words and replaced ‘Rosie’ for ‘Ronald,’ there would be an objectification of women in the workplace. So that is disturbing and it’s wrong,” Hasselbeck said. “Whether you’re a man or whether you’re a woman, and you’re objectifying women in the workplace, it’s wrong.”
Portions of O’Donnell’s interview were published Monday by Variety in an excerpt of Setoodeh’s book.
In them, O’Donnell balked at rumors that she and Hasselbeck were enemies on the ABC daytime show, explaining that she “loved” Hasselbeck and had “a little bit of a crush” on her. Though O’Donnell stressed the crush wasn’t sexual, she did said there were “underlying lesbian tones on both [of their] parts,” pointing to Hasselbeck’s time as MVP of a Division 1 softball team.
“There are not many, in my life, girls with such athletic talent on sports teams that are traditionally male that aren’t at least a little bit gay,” O’Donnell said.
Reading O’Donnell’s words upset Hasselbeck. To process her feelings, the mother of three said she turned to prayer.
“I’ll be very honest. I read it and I immediately started praying. Because I’m like, ‘How am I going to handle this?’ ” Hasselbeck said on Fox on Friends, explaining that she didn’t want to fight with O’Donnell as the two had infamously done on The View.
“In my old self, [this] would be another split-screen moment. But now I really feel like by God’s grace, I just started praying — and I pray now the Holy Spirit gives me the words to articulate this — but I think it can be addressed with both truth and grace.”
Hasselbeck said she attempted to called O’Donnell directly to discuss her comments, but she didn’t have an updated number for the star.
She told Fox & Friends that she hopes to explain to O’Donnell how the words hurt her, and how “casting a stereotype on female athletes…. that all female athletes are a little bit gay” was “an unfair stereotype and it seems selfish in a way and I think that it’s untrue.”
Ultimately, Hasselbeck said she is in a positive place in life and forgives O’Donnell.
“I can handle that with the grace of God because I need grace and I need forgiveness. So Rosie, I think it was disturbing to read those things and it was offensive to me, but I forgive her. I totally forgive you, Rosie,” Hasselbeck said. “I really hope that we can be at peace and that we can both hold our beliefs in one hand and hold each other’s hand in the other and still have a relationship that’s at peace.”
“But, more than that, just like I would pray for my friends, I hope that she has the peace of God,” Hasselbeck added. “Because… Rosie O’Donnell is still seen and known and loved by God, and I hope that she feels that and I hope that she can find, ultimately, the peace. Even more than I want to be at peace with her, I hope she finds that peace because God wants that for her too.”
O’Donnell first joined The View in 2006, and left the show in May 2007 — one month before she had been scheduled to leave when her contract expired — after an explosive on-air confrontation with Hasselbeck about the Iraq War.
The mother of five told Setoodeh in the book that while she was hurt by the argument, she was mostly pained that Hasselbeck didn’t defend her when it came to conservative critics.
“It felt like a lover breaking up,” O’Donnell stated in Variety‘s excerpt about her last day on the show with Hasselbeck. “The fight that we had, to me as a gay woman, it felt like this: ‘You don’t love me as much as I love you.’ ‘I’ve taken care of you.’ ‘You have not.’ ‘How could you do that to me?’ ‘I didn’t do anything to you.’”
Throughout their time together on The View, O’Donnell said she saw herself as a mentor of sorts to Hasselbeck. “I wanted to support, raise, elevate her, like she was the freshman star shortstop and I was the captain of the team,” O’Donnell said. “I was going to Scottie Pippen her. If I was Jordan, I was going to give her the ball and let her shoot… ‘I’m the senior. She’s the freshman. I’ve got a really good player on the freshman team, but I have to teach her how to loosen up.’ “
Hasselbeck, who served as the conservative voice on the panel, left The View in July 2013 for Fox & Friends.
O’Donnell later rejoined the show, but departed once again in February 2015.
Meanwhile, Hasselbeck has her own new book out about her time on The View, out Tuesday. Titled Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith, and Freedom, it presents “a deeply intimate journey of faith, told through the important moments in her life,” according to its description.
This article originally appeared on People.com