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Rosie O'Donnell Calls Whoopi Goldberg 'As Mean as Anyone'

Rosie O'Donnell Calls Whoopi Goldberg 'As Mean as Anyone'

Rosie O'Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg

O'Donnell and Goldberg clashed over sexual predators like Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby and could never really make up, according to a new book. 

Earlier this week, it came out in Ramin Setoodeh's book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View that Rosie O'Donnell had an emotional crush on conservative cohost Elisabeth Hasselbeck back in the day. Now it's come out that O'Donnell has said she has great respect for cohost Whoopi Goldberg but also called her "mean."

O'Donnell appeared on The View during the 2006-2007 season before exiting the set after a fight with Hasselbeck that the producers blew up into a split screen. She returned to the talk show in 2014 for a brief time, but according to the book, she and Goldberg were already at odds.

"Whoopi Goldberg was as mean as anyone has ever been on television to me, personally -- while I was sitting there," O'Donnell told Setoodeh. "Worse than Fox News. The worst experience I've ever had on live television was interacting with her."

O'Donnell told Setoodeh that she and Goldberg clashed in 2009 over predator Roman Polanski when Goldberg said that he wasn't guilty of "rape rape," although he pleaded guilty to statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl. O'Donnell publicly called out Goldberg's assessment of Polanski's crime and the two then exchanged letters, according to People.

Goldberg allegedly sent O'Donnell and angry letter to which O'Donnell responded, "I'm sorry if that hurt your feelings. I have different feelings about it than you. And I stand up for what I believe, but I'll never bet against you, Whoopi Goldberg."

But tensions were still high by the time the two were seated around the table at The View again in 2014, according to the book. The women reportedly fought about another predator -- Bill Cosby. Goldberg shut down O'Donnell's attempts to fully cover the Cosby allegations, and their disagreements did not go unnoticed when the cameras were rolling.

"Some people would say, 'What's going on with you and Whoopi?'" O'Donnell recalled in the tell-all book. "I was like, 'Are you watching the show? It's pretty much right there.' I have no desire for a public feud."

Still, O'Donnell said she'll always respect Goldberg.

"She's a minority, feminist, smart, funny, groundbreaking legend who is black in America," O'Donnell said. "I'm never going to not have respect for Whoopi Goldberg. But that was a painful experience, personally and professionally."

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Tracy E. Gilchrist