Rosie O’Donnell claims she was sexually abused by her father when she was a child in the new book ‘Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View’.’
For the new book, O’Donnell spoke with author Ramin Setoodeh, who serves as Variety’s New York bureau chief.
Speaking with Setoodeh, O’Donnell said of the alleged abuse: “It started very young.”
“And then when my mother died, it sort of ended in a weird way, because then he was with these five children to take care of.”
O’Donnell’s mother Roseann died from breast cancer when Rosie was only 10 years old.
“On the whole, it’s not something I like to talk about. Of course, it changes everyone. Any child who is put in that position, especially by someone in the family, you feel completely powerless and stuck, because the person you would tell is the person doing it.”
O'Donnell makes the revelations in the new book in a chapter entitled 'The Rosie O'Donnell Show.' O'Donnell had her own daytime talk show from 1996 -2002 before she joined 'The View.'
In 2012, O’Donnell spoke with Piers Morgan on CNN about her father and their difficult relationship: "He had his own issues and demons, he had a very tough childhood, he had an alcoholic, abusive father and never really got the help that I think every person needs when they have lived through that as a child.”
“The worst thing that can happen to anyone is to become what you loathe; I think that he had a lot of problems to deal with."
She continued: "You get to be 50 years old you can't still be angry at what your father did in 1970," though she did add some things were "unforgivable."
"You have to work it out for yourself and find a place for it in your life and not rehash it forever."
O’Donnell revealed that she has forgiven her father before he died of cancer in 2015 at the age of 81.
Watch O'Donnell and Morgan's discussion here:
In November, O’Donnell revealed on The Howard Stern Show that she struggles with major depressive disorder, suicide ideation, and body-image issues.
“I think it’s what your body does to protect you if you’re a kid who’s sexually abused, which I was,” she said.
“You kind of disconnect from your body, you dissociate. You don’t pay attention to it. You don’t want to love it, because it’s kind of betrayed you in some way.”
“Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View’” is published by St. Martin’s Press and goes on sale April 2.