Rosie O'Donnell Talks About Her Self-Destructive Past

More from her memoir. Plus: Walters and Goldberg confront Hasselbeck on The View

Although it is her unkind treatment of former employer Barbara Walters in the pages of Rosie O’Donnell‘s upcoming memoir, Celebrity Detox, that has been generating headlines, the former “Queen of Nice” also bashes herself in her book – literally.

As a child growing up on New York’s Long Island, O’Donnell, now 45, would fracture her own limbs with “a baseball bat” or a “wooden hanger,” she reveals in the book, reports The Insider.

In the excerpt, first revealed in Roger Friedman’s column, O’Donnell writes that in choosing what to break she’d go for “My hands and fingers usually. No one knew. My secret.”

Seeking to explain her motivation for the self-destructive act, she reportedly writes, “Proof that I had some value, enough to be fixed.”

She adds later, “There were many benefits to having a cast. In the middle of the night, it was a weapon.” Why she would need a weapon in the middle of the night is not addressed, Friedman reports.

As the book, which is to be published Oct. 9, gains momentum – on Thursday morning it was ranked No. 10 on the bestseller list (and No. 1 on both the site’s entertainment books and biographies and memoirs lists) – O’Donnell fans are contacting the author on her Web site.

Writes “joyce”: “Be proud of your book.” Responds O’Donnell: “i am proud of it.” A “Nancy” inquires if O’Donnell will grant interviews for it, but Rosie responds that she doesn’t want to see her words “all cut up for sound bites/i would rather the book speaks for itself/some stuff was hard to write/difficult to discuss.”

Surprisingly, the book excerpt offered by Insider also features O’Donnell’s pleasant-enough description of her former sparring partner on The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

“Elisabeth, antiabortion, pro Bush, pro war, believes in everything I don’t, and I believe in everything she doesn’t,” O’Donnell writes. “She’s as slender as I am fat, as restrained as I am vociferous, as polite as I am frank. … Right from the start … I could see something fierce, a fist in the frill, and I liked that.”

Meanwhile, on Wednesday’s View, a minor but notable war of words erupted, with Walters and recent arrival Whoopi Goldberg taking on Hasselbeck for dredging up former Clinton White House intern Monica Lewinsky during a discussion about presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion (which long ago distanced itself from the practice of polygamy).

Hasselbeck triggered the flare-up by suggesting Romney might somehow pull another woman out of the closet, as Clinton did with Lewinsky.

“This is a good woman who has gotten a masters degree at the London School of Economics!” Walters, in reference to Lewinsky, declared as she shook a finger in Hasselbeck’s face, the New York Post reports. “She’s doing her best to have a life. Enough with Monica, everybody can move on.”

Goldberg asked Hasselbeck not to mention Lewinsky again. “I’m asking you to do me a favor because there’s no reason for it today,” said Goldberg, who is known as a pal to both Bill and Hillary Clinton. “This has nothing to do with Bill Clinton.”

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