Rosie O'Donnell: I Was Sexually Abused by My Father

Lawrence Kim
March 14, 2019

"It started very young", Rosie shared with Variety's NY bureau chief. While this is the first time O'Donnell has gone into detail about the alleged abuse, the Sleepless in Seattle actress has been a longtime advocate for sexual abuse victims.

The 56-year-old comedian explains "And then when my mother died, it sort of ended in a weird way, because then he was with these five children to take care of".

The former talk show host said her father, Edward Joseph, began sexually abusing her at a young age. She has opened up about her loss numerous times in the past, with Variety noting it helped shape the rest of her life.

Rosie O'Donnell is spilling some of her biggest secrets in a new book about The View - but the biggest, darkest secret she reveals in it dates back to her childhood. Of course, it changes everyone.

"It started very young", O'Donnell tells Variety's NY bureau chief, Ramin Setoodeh, in his upcoming book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of "The View". She reveals that it "started very young" and continued until her mom Roseann died at age 38 from breast cancer when Rosie was just 10.

During an appearance on The Howard Stern Show in November, O'Donnell discussed her own mental health - "I have major depressive disorder - luckily, I'm medicated", she said - and admitted to experiencing "suicide ideation" years after her alleged sexual abuse.

She also said that she'd forgiven her father, even though she felt that what he had done to her and her siblings was "unforgivable". "It's a pretty clear line for me". She re-joined the cast in September 2014 for six months after creator Barbara Walters retired.

Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of "The View" hits bookshelves April 2, 2019.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit their website.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER