Elisabeth Hasselbeck reacts to Rosie O'Donnell's crush comments, slams her for stereotyping women in sports
During an appearance on Tuesday's Fox & Friends, the 41-year-old TV personality slammed the remarks O'Donnell gave during an interview for Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View. In the book, O'Donnell says she had "a little bit of a crush" on Hasselbeck and claims there were "underlying lesbian tones on both parts."
She further calls attention to Hasselbeck's time playing softball in college, saying, "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."
"I'd like to be able to say that I didn't, but I read that," Hasselbeck said of O'Donnell's comments on having a crush on her, which were published on Monday in an excerpt by Variety. "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 -- and 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."
Hasselbeck continued the discussion by saying that, if a man had made similar comments, "there would be an objectification of women in the workplace."
"So that is disturbing and it's wrong," Hasselbeck said. "And whether you're a man or whether you're a woman, and you're objectifying women in the workplace, it's wrong."
The mom of three also addressed O'Donnell's comments about female athletes.
"I think her casting a stereotype on female athletes and what she said... that all female athletes are a little bit gay... I would say this directly to her, and I would say, 'That's an unfair stereotype and it seems selfish in a way and I think that it's untrue,'" Hasselbeck said after revealing that she did try to contact O'Donnell, but had an old phone number.
Hasselbeck concluded her statement by offering her forgiveness to O'Donnell and wishing her "the peace of God."
"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," she said. "... I really hope that we can be at peace and that we can... 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."
"But, more than that, just like I would pray for my friends, I hope that she has the peace of God. Because... Rosie O'Donnell is still seen and known and loved by God, and I hope that she feels that and I hope that she can find, ultimately, the peace," Hasselbeck continued. "Even more than I want to be at peace with her, I hope she finds that peace because God wants that for her too."
As part of O'Donnell's comments, she clarifies in the book that her crush on Hasselbeck wasn't sexual. "[It's] 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," she elaborates.
In May 2007, the former co-hosts got into a now-infamous on-air fight about the Iraq War, one that, the book claims, led to both O'Donnell leaving the show and a downturn in Hasselbeck's likability numbers, something that reportedly led to her eventual firing.
"Talk about not securing the border. Here comes to The View the very woman who spit in the face of our military, spit in the face of her own network and really in the face of a person who stood by her and had civilized debates for the time that she was there," she said in a telephone interview with Fox & Friends.
Shortly after, Hasselbeck claimed that she tried to have a conversation with O'Donnell following their tense argument.
"I don't hate Rosie," she wrote on Instagram at the time. "I actually called to talk to her seven years ago. She did not want to speak to me. I am happy to have a #momversation about why I would never defend her 2007 comments."