She already revealed her secret affair, but there was plenty more from Barbara Walters Monday when she sat down with Oprah Winfrey: The usually reserved View cohost finally cleared the air on her former cohosts Star Jones and Rosie O’Donnell.
Walters discussed the controversial two years marked by Jones’s public (and early) departure from the ABC chatfest – and the emotional whirlwind that followed during O’Donnell’s one-year tenure. (It’s all culled from Walters’s new memoir, Audition.) While Walters opened up about things she’s never discussed before, she says she and her former cohosts have now made peace.
Some highlights from their chat:
• On Star Jones: Walters says that it was tough for the panelists on the View to lie when Jones refused to discuss her gastric bypass surgery – but she did so anyway. “We had to lie on the set everyday,” Walters told Winfrey. “She was our colleague and she really did not want us to out her … We cared about her, and we thought we owed her.” Instead, Jones told audience members at the time she had lost weight because of “portion control and pilates.”
• On Rosie O’Donnell: Walters says that while O’Donnell is no longer on the show, she still feels a great deal of affection for her cohost – and says she’s an “enormous talent.”
But Walters says that O’Donnell’s “emotional issues” complicated their relationship, suggesting that perhaps the comedian viewed her as a maternal figure.
“If I didn’t do what she hoped I’d do, she felt I’d abandoned her,” Walters said, referencing O’Donnell’s claim that Walters was not publicly supportive during her feud with Donald Trump. (Walters reveals that she was on a boat in the Caribbean with Judge Judy when the story broke). She also notes that O’Donnell was used to being in control of things. “She had always driven the bus and she could not just ride the bus,” she said.