In an upcoming book about the women of The View, actress and talk-show host Rosie O’Donnell reveals that she was sexually abused by her father as a child, Variety reports. “It started very young,” O’Donnell told Ramin Setoodeh, the author of Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View.’ “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. On the whole, it’s not something I like to talk about. Of course, it changes everyone. Any child who is put in that position, especially by someone in the family, you feel completely powerless and stuck, because the person you would tell is the person doing it.”
O’Donnell’s mother, Roseann, died of breast cancer when O’Donnell was 10, leaving her five children in the care of their father, Edward Joseph O’Donnell, an electrical engineer who died in 2015.
The host has been open about her difficult childhood before, telling Howard Stern in 2017 that she struggled with dissociation as the result of sexual abuse as a child, though she did not say then that it was at the hands of her father. Later that year, O’Donnell discussed the #MeToo movement with the Cut, saying that she did not consider men like Al Franken predators.
“I know Al Franken and I know men who are also predators, including my own father, so I am always on the lookout for men who are predators,” she said. “Al Franken’s not a predator.”