Actress and activist Rosie O'Donnell offered up some revelations when she was interviewed for Ramin Setoodeh's book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View. In an appearance on Fox & Friends, O'Donnell's former View costar Elisabeth Hasselbeck said she immediately began praying when she heard O'Donnell's admission that she developed a nonsexual crush on Hasselbeck when they worked together in 2007. Hasselbeck also said that O'Donnell's 12-year-old secret of having had an emotional crush was "objectifying women in the workplace" and called O'Donnell's revelations "disturbing" and "offensive."
In Setoodeh's book, when View cohost Joy Behar suggested O'Donnell may have had a crush on Hasselbeck, the comedian concurred in part.
"I think there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts. I think this is something that will hurt her if you write it. She was the MVP of a Division 1 softball team for two years that won the finals. There are not many, in my life, girls with such athletic talent on sports teams that are traditionally male that aren't at least a little bit gay," O'Donnell said, according to Variety.
"There was a little bit of a crush. But not that I wanted to kiss her. I wanted to support, raise, elevate her -- like she was the freshman star shortstop and I was the captain of the team. I was going to Scottie Pippen her. If I was [Michael] Jordan, I was going to give her the ball and let her shoot. But it was in no way sexualized," O'Donnell continued.
Hasselbeck said she invoked religion to help get her through the moment of responding to O'Donnell's admission. She then implied there was a double standard of acceptance around O'Donnell's admitting to having had a crush because she is a woman.
"I'd like to be able to say that I didn't, but I read that. I'll be very honest. I read it and I immediately started praying, because I'm like, how am I going to handle this in my old self would be another split-screen moment. But now I really feel like, by God's grace, I just started praying," Hasselbeck said. "I pray now the Holy Spirit gives me the words to articulate this but I think it can be addressed with both truth and grace."
"If you took her words and replaced Rosie with Ronald, there would be an objectification of women in the workplace," Hasselbeck continued. "So that is disturbing and it's wrong. And whether you're a man or whether you're a woman, and you're objectifying women in the workplace, it's wrong."
While O'Donnell and Hasselbeck's working relationship blew up in a split-screen argument over the Iraq War in 2007, the two had been friendly despite their diverging political and social views.
"I loved her. Here's what I said, 'I'm the senior. She's the freshman. I've got a really good player on the freshman team, but I have to teach her how to loosen up,'" O'Donnell said in the book.
On Fox News, Hasselbeck also categorized O'Donnell's assumptions around female athletes as "selfish."
"I think her casting a stereotype on female athletes in what she said -- that all female athletes are a little bit gay. I would say this directly to her: 'That's an unfair stereotype and it seems selfish in a way and I think that it's untrue,'" Hasselbeck said.
To close, Hasselbeck said that she forgives O'Donnell.
"I can handle that with the grace of God because I need grace and I need forgiveness. So Rosie, I think it was disturbing to read those things and it was offensive to me, but I forgive her. I totally forgive you, Rosie," Hasselbeck said. "I really hope that we can be at peace and that we can have, both hold our beliefs in one hand and hold each other's hand in the other and still have a relationship that's at peace."