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Madonna defends

Madonna defends

Rosie O'Donnell has a powerful ally in her feud with Donald Trump: her close friend Madonna.

''People are giving Rosie a hard time,'' Madonna, who starred with O'Donnell in 1992's A League of Their Own, said Thursday on NBC's Today show. ''I wish they'd stop. I don't think it's fair.''

The 48-year-old pop star told Today cohost Meredith Vieira that she'd first heard about the flare-up between O'Donnell and Trump while vacationing ''in the middle of the Indian Ocean'' and quickly e-mailed O'Donnell.

''I have to hear it from the horse's mouth,'' Madonna said. ''Basically, I mean, she's a stand-up comic. I think all stand-up comics talk about provocative things in their monologues before shows, and I think that's a commonplace thing.''

''I don't know exactly the content of what she said,'' she continued, ''but I have a feeling that if every stand-up comic was penalized for saying politically incorrect things or provocative things, I think they'd all be hung in the public square.''

The Rosie-Donald feud began last month after Trump announced that Miss USA Tara Conner would keep her title, which had been in jeopardy because of underage drinking. He owns the pageant.

O'Donnell, the outspoken moderator of ABC's The View, hit a nerve when she said the twice-divorced real-estate mogul had no right to be ''the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America.'' Trump fired back, calling her a ''loser'' and a ''fat pig'' in various media interviews.

Madonna appeared on Today to promote Arthur and the Invisibles, a release by the Weinstein Co., slated to open Friday. Madonna, who voices the character of Princess Selenia, says playing a princess is ''new'' for her--and her fans.

''They perceive me as a queen, not a princess,'' she joked, adding: ''I just loved the idea of playing a character where I can create a fantasy world that has nothing to do with who I am or what people associate with me.'' (AP)

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