O'Donnell "has informed us that she would like an early leave," ABC announced Friday

By Emily Fromm
May 25, 2007 03:25 PM

Rosie O’Donnell will not be coming back to The View, ABC announced Friday.

“We had hoped that Rosie would be with us until the end of her contract three weeks from now, but Rosie has informed us that she would like an early leave,” Brian Frons, president of ABC Daytime, said in a statement. “Therefore, we part ways, thank her for her tremendous contribution to The View and wish her well.”

The show’s co-host and executive producer, Barbara Walters, said in the statement: “I brought Rosie to the show. Rosie contributed to one of our most exciting and successful years at The View. I am most appreciative. Our close and affectionate relationship will not change.”

Said O’Donnell: “I’m extremely grateful. It’s been an amazing year and I love all three women.”

The move follows several days of speculation that O’Donnell, who was scheduled to leave the show when her contract expires in June, would not come back to The View following Wednesday’s on-air blow-up with Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Although View reps maintained that O’Donnell was expected back on set on Tuesday, she had hinted on her blog that she might not return at all.

When one reader asked on Thursday, “Rosie! Will you be back on The View? When?” she responded: “No idea.” And when another fan wrote, “The fight today was painful for anyone who cares about you. Please walk away. It’s not worth it,” O’Donnell replied: “Well u know when its time 2 go.”