Rosie O'Donnell Confirms Engagement to Elizabeth Rooney: 'She's a Pretty Unbelievable Young Woman'

Rosie O'Donnell has been dating Elizabeth Rooney for over a year

Rosie O’Donnell is engaged!

After playing coy about her relationship status with Elizabeth Rooney recently, the star, 56, confirmed their engagement to PEOPLE on Monday. However, she revealed their wedding date may be a long ways from now.

“This is a long time in the future. We both decided that that would be best,” O’Donnell said at the 15th-anniversary celebration of her organization, Rosie’s Theater Kids, in New York City.

Describing Rooney, 33, as a “wonderful woman,” the former View co-host revealed the pair has been dating from two different cities since they went public in November 2017.

“She lives in Boston now and I live here in New York. It’s been a long-distance thing. It’s been great. I think she’s a wonderful woman,” said O’Donnell, who proudly praised Rooney for being an Army veteran and an undefeated boxer during her time of service.

“She’s very much an equal, she’s very much her own person and loves what she does. She’s a pretty unbelievable young woman,” she added.

Elizabeth Rooney/Instagram

O’Donnell also joked about the pair’s 23-year age gap.

“I keep telling her I’m too old for her. But she doesn’t seem to care,” she said. “She’s like, ‘I was in the Army! I put my life on the line every day you think I don’t know who I want to date?’ I’m like, ‘Alright I guess that’s true.’ She has a lot of good points.”

Family Equality Council's Night At The Pier At Pier Sixty
Rosie O’Donnell and Elizabeth Rooney. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

In addition, many fans mistake Rooney for O’Donnell’s 20-year-old daughter Chelsea, who is pregnant with her first child.

“A lot of people say, ‘Oh my god, Chelsea looks so great.’ I’m like, ‘That’s not Chelsea.’ That’s my soon-to-be spouse,” she said. “It’s a little tricky. In the airport people say, ‘Rosie, can I have a picture of you and your daughter?’ She doesn’t seem to think it’s an issue at all. Nobody ever does, but I do sometimes. I was already on Star Search by the time you were born.”

Celebrities Visit Broadway - June 20, 2016
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Earlier this month, O’Donnell seemed to confirm Radar Online‘s report of an engagement with a subtle change to her Instagram bio recently. Rooney’s page now includes the letter “R” followed by a diamond ring emoji.

O’Donnell was previously married to Michelle Rounds, who died of apparent suicide in September 2017 at age 46. They share one daughter, Dakota, 5.

She also has four children — son Parker, 23, son Blake, 18, and daughter Vivienne, 15, and 21-year-old estranged daughter Chelsea — with ex-wife Kelli Carpenter-O’Donnell.

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