Meghan McCain Says She Had a Panic Attack After Joy Behar Diss on 'The View' : 'I Cried for Days'

After Meghan McCain returned to The View from her maternity leave in January, co-host Joy Behar told her she "didn't miss" her, prompting an intense exchange between the pair

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Meghan McCain is opening up about her relationships with her former View co-hosts after exiting the daytime show over the summer.

During her fourth and final season, the conservative TV personality, 36, co-hosted the ABC series with Sunny Hostin, Joy Behar, Sara Haines and moderator Whoopi Goldberg.

McCain, whose audio memoir Bad Republican is out now, tells PEOPLE in an interview for this week's issue that her relationship with Behar in particular deteriorated towards the end of her time at The View.

She says she and the liberal Behar, who were known for going to head to head on the air, were "fine" for her first three years on the show.

"We had a respectful understanding of each other's roles. Whenever we got in a fight, she would talk it out," McCain says. "The thing that makes me really, really sad is there was a period of time that I got along really well with her."

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megan mccain
Meghan McCain. Tasos Katopodis/Getty

She says she wished they "could have maintained that," but feels that things changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the stars began filming The View remotely from separate locations. "She and I actually had a really great relationship, and then something happened, being away via satellite," McCain says.

Her maternity leave before and after the birth of daughter Liberty in September 2020 only made matters worse, she says.

"I think they liked not having me," McCain says. "I think they liked not having someone who would fight with them or give an unpopular opinion. I was very insecure about not being missed on maternity leave. I felt it. I felt like they didn't miss me."

When she did return in January, Behar, 79, told her co-host on-air that she "didn't miss" her when she was away.

"Being told that to my face on national television shocked me and cut me deep," McCain says. "I cried for days."

The mom of one, who was also suffering from postpartum anxiety at the time, says the comment was "the worst thing anyone ever did to me on camera in my entire life" and prompted a panic attack.

"She's supposed to be my friend and it's supposed to be a sisterhood," McCain says. "I'll never forget. I went back to my office and I had a panic attack. I was crying. I was hyperventilating. I threw up."

joy behar and megan mccain

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McCain says she and Behar have not spoken privately since, and while she's "not angry anymore," she doesn't see herself mending the relationship with her former colleague anytime soon.

"I think that [Behar] needs to understand that the point of the show was for a variety of opinions. That's the whole purpose of it that Barbara Walters started out with," she says. "The emphasis was always on me and I felt that was unfair. And again, if this was such an issue, there are producers paid a great deal of money to mitigate this. They didn't want to, didn't care to, or just were too lazy to, and I don't know the answer to what it is."

In a statement, a spokesperson for The View told PEOPLE, "For 25 years, The View has been a platform on air and behind the scenes for strong women. Live television and different perspectives can often lead to surprising moments, but the team is collaborative and supportive — focused on delivering an informative daily talk show to our loyal viewers."

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ABC's "The View" - Season 21. Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty

McCain also discusses Goldberg, 65, who was "very close" with her late father, Sen. John McCain.

"I will always have love and affection for her. I will always respect her. She's an American icon on all levels," she says, adding that they had a "lovely" text exchange when McCain made the decision to leave the show.

However, McCain says that filming remotely also impacted her relationship with the Ghost actress.

"I felt like in COVID again, being so far apart, she just started seeing me more as an avatar than a person, and it really impacted my trust with her and my relationship," she says. "I forgive it. I don't care. I think she forgives me, too. I think we all know the amount of stress and intensity everyone was under."

"And if she were sitting over there, I would hug her and kiss her and tell her I love her and miss her," McCain continues. "There's no bad blood as far as I'm concerned."

Bad Republican is out now on Audible.

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