Rosie and her new girlfriend will blend their lives, their homes – and their 10 kids

By Stephen M. Silverman
January 22, 2010 10:00 AM
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Two TV queens, one hour, no holds barred and it all airs Monday – when Rosie O’Donnell sits down with Oprah Winfrey and lets fly with the inside stories on her breakup after 12 years with Kelli Carpenter, her new girlfriend Tracy Kachtick-Anders, her home life with her four kids … and even menopause.

Gearing up for her Jan. 31 HBO special A Family Is A Family Is A Family: A Rosie O’Donnell Celebration, a documentary that challenges the traditional ideas of family, O’Donnell, 47, talks about co-parenting with Carpenter since their breakup.

The two had four children together: Parker, 14; Chelsea, 12; Blake, 10; and Vivienne Rose, 7.

“Although we co-parent,” says O’Donnell, “we share equal time but we’re never really without them. Some are here. And that’s the way we did it. It’s free-flowing, and we do nights together, too.” Explaining that Carpenter “lives nearby,” O’Donnell also says that is still “not close enough. I wanted her to live in the same town, and she was, like, ‘I don’t know how good that’s gonna be for me.’ Like, what are you saying? You can’t exist – okay. Calm down. Breathe. Everything’s okay.”

On what attracted her to her new girlfriend, the Texas-based artist (with six children of her own) Kachtick-Anders, O’Donnell says, “So she got out of the car in Miami and I was, like, zoinks, you know, because she’s absolutely gorgeous and, I don’t know, I felt like I knew her right away. It was very odd.”

“So are you gonna move to live together?” asks Winfrey.
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“Yes,” says O’Donnell. “As soon as we can arrange the kids’ thing where she lives in Texas, you know.”

“So you’re gonna blend the families?” asks Winfrey. “The six kids and the four kids … ”

“Yes,” says O’Donnell. “Can you imagine?”

“No,” says Winfrey.

“I know,” says O’Donnell. “A lot of people can’t.”

And since no interview with O’Donnell would be complete without touching upon her abrupt departure from The View in 2007, O’Donnell tells Winfrey that when it came to confronting her boss Barbara Walters: “And for me at that moment, if I had been braver, I would have just cried and said you really hurt my feelings.”