Christine O'Donnell says it wasn't questions about gay marriage that caused her to walk off the set of an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan. Instead, she says it was "borderline sexual harassment" earlier in the interview.
"It was not about the questions of gay marriage, as the producers very dishonestly tried to portray it," O'Donnell told the Today show. "It was, like I said, the very inappropriate, creepy line of questioning leading up to that. And I think I was a very good sport."
Morgan had asked about the former U.S. Senate candidate's controversial stances against masturbation and in favor of sexual abstinence, both of which are topics O'Donnell says are included in the book she's trying to promote. But O'Donnell told Today that those questions (which she answered) were "sexist" and that a man wouldn't have been asked the same ones.
O'Donnell had already been on the hourlong show for more than 20 minutes when she stopped the interview, explaining she had somewhere else to be, and a staffer stood in front of the CNN camera.
The moment happened immediately after about two minutes of questioning on gay rights. Morgan asked the following questions:
"Right now I'm curious about whether you support gay marriage."
"Do you answer that question in the book?"
"Do you talk about gay marriage in the book?"
"It's obviously a highly contentious political issue. I'm just curious what your view is. You keep saying it's in the book. So I'm bemused as to why you wouldn't just say it in an interview if it's in the book."
"So would you agree with Michele Bachmann that we should maybe [reinstate] 'don't ask, don't tell?'"
"Why are you being so weird about this?"
"I'm just asking you questions based on your own public statements and now what you've written in your own book. It's hardly rude to ask you that, surely?"
"Where are you going?"
That's how the exit unfolded. But O'Donnell said today that she left because "I wanted to stop that borderline sexual harassment that was going on." She accuses CNN of "exaggerating" the circumstances around what happened, even saying she didn't walk out.
"The interview was over and he wasn't letting go because he needs the ratings," O'Donnell said.
Today host Savannah Guthrie pointed out that some suspect it's actually O'Donnell who is in search of attention for her book.
"Oh, please," laughed O'Donnell. "I didn't want to do the Piers Morgan show, quite honestly, because I knew that he resorts to these dirty tricks. But no, it was certainly not a publicity stunt."