9 Surprising Revelations From 'The View' Tell-All 'Ladies Who Punch'

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Rosie says her late father sexually abused her

“It started very young,” O’Donnell says in the book. “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.”

JOY BEHAR
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One writer would expose himself as a “running gag”

“As daytime’s stepchild, the office vibe sometimes felt like a college radio show, especially on the days when Barbara [Walters] wasn’t there,” Setoodeh reveals. “For years, a married man carried on a public affair with one of the female staff and nobody blinked. A writer liked to flash his c**k in the offices, as part of a running gag that made Joy [Behar] laugh.”

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Rosie will never talk to Ellen DeGeneres again

“Rosie told me a story about how she caught [Barbra] Streisand’s appearance on Ellen in 2017,” Setoodeh writes. “Rosie was aghast that her hero had been relegated to the second guest spot, behind the actress Sofia Vergara. ‘I will never talk to Ellen again,’ Rosie said. ‘Such disrespect.’ She sent a message to Andy Lassner, DeGeneres’s executive producer, who had worked on Rosie’s talk show. The email read, Go to hell.”

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Star made outrageous demands

Setoodeh claims producers “weren’t allowed to make eye contact or speak to Star [Jones]” and says she complained to staff about not getting a hotel room with an ocean view when the show filmed from the very landlocked Orlando, Florida.

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Rosie says Whoopi was mean to her

“Whoopi Goldberg was as mean as anyone has ever been on television to me, personally — while I was sitting there,” O’Donnell says in the book. “Worse than Fox News. The worst experience I’ve ever had on live television was interacting with her … She’s a minority, feminist, smart, funny, groundbreaking legend who is black in America. I’m never going to not have respect for Whoopi Goldberg. But that was a painful experience, personally and professionally.”

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Jenny says Barbara had a temper

“You know the movie Mommie Dearest? I remember as a child watching that movie and going, ‘Holy cow!’ I’ve never seen a woman yell like that before until I worked with Barbara Walters,” says Jenny McCarthy, who also claims Walters constantly criticized her wardrobe and once publicly accused her of flushing a tampon.

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Rosie had a “little bit of a crush” on Elisabeth

“I think there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts,” O’Donnell says of her rapport with Elisabeth Hasselbeck, telling Setoodeh that she had a “little bit of a crush” on the Survivor alum that was “in no way sexualized.”

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Gayle King’s friendship with Oprah Winfrey cost her a View offer

Setoodeh claims Gayle King was eyed as a possible replacement for Goldberg, but Barbara Walters and others were “afraid of Gayle’s association with Oprah [Winfrey], and didn’t want Oprah to take over The View in the same way that Rosie had. They were worried that Oprah was going to offer producing notes, and use Gayle as a method to do that.”

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Barbara reprimanded Debbie about her antics

“After Debbie [Matenopoulos] had gotten written up in Page Six for taking her top off at Hogs & Heifers, Barbara counseled her on not tarnishing her name as a public figure,” Setoodeh writes. “It didn’t matter that most twenty-somethings in New York had ventured into the beer-soaked dive bar and done the same thing. Barbara was aghast that Debbie had disrobed in public.”

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We knew that The View was a revolving door, but all the dramatic exits don’t even scratch the surface of the drama behind the scenes of the long-running ABC talk show, if a new tell-all is to be believed.

Variety’s Ramin Seetodeh offers juicy gossip about Barbara Walters, Star Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, and more in his new book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of 'The View,' available now from St. Martin’s Press.

Click through the gallery above for nine of the biggest claims, anecdotes, and revelations…

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Joy Behar Looks Back at 20 Years on 'The View' Ahead of Her Special Episode

Thursday's Joy-centric episode will include appearances by Gloria Steinem, Meredith Vieira, an outspoken conservative, and more!