Rosie O’Donnell calls participating in 'The View' book her 'biggest regret'

If she could turn back time. Rosie O’Donnell wishes that she never agreed to be interviewed by Ramin Setoodeh forLadies Who Punch, his explosive tell-all about The View.

“My biggest regret was ever sitting down with him for 20 minutes, and that’s exactly what I did to appease my publicist,” the 57-year-old host told Us Weekly exclusively at the opening of Broadway’s Oklahoma! at Circle in the Square Theatre in New York City on Sunday, April 7. “But it’s my biggest regret.”

O’Donnell, who cohosted the ABC morning show from 2006 to 2007 and 2014 to 2015, has made headlines for several of her comments in the book, including dredging up her old feud with Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

“I think there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts,” the comedian, who is openly gay, said in the book of the Survivor alum. “I think this is something that will hurt her if you write it. She was the MVP of a Division 1 softball team for two years that won the finals. 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.”

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Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck
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Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck
THE VIEW - 5/15/14 - For the first time in television history, all 11 co-hosts of ABC's 'The View,' present and past, shared the same stage, live, THURSDAY, MAY 15 on ABC to celebrate the shows creator Barbara Walters. Walters is the last remaining co-host of the original panel of five women she helped assemble. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 a.m.- 12 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck (Photo by Mychal Watts/WireImage)
Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck (Photo by Mychal Watts/WireImage)
THE VIEW - 'The View,' ABC's Emmy (R) Award-winning talk and entertainment program returns, live, TUESDAY, SEPT. 5 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network, for its 10th season. Among the most highly anticipated and noted changes for the show this season is the addition of Rosie O'Donnell, a beloved star of television, stage and screen. Ms. O'Donnell will serve as moderator and sit alongside fellow co-hosts Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. (Photo by Yolanda Perez/ABC via Getty Images) ELISABETH HASSELBECK,ROSIE O'DONNELL, BARBARA WALTERS, JOY BEHAR
Rosie O'Donnell & Elisabeth Hasselbeck attending the Opening Night return to Broadway performance of LES MISERABLES (the third longest-running show in Broadway History) at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City, November 9, 2006 (Photo by Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - 5/15/14 - For the first time in television history, all 11 co-hosts of ABC's 'The View,' present and past, shared the same stage, live, THURSDAY, MAY 15 on ABC to celebrate the shows creator Barbara Walters. Walters is the last remaining co-host of the original panel of five women she helped assemble. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 a.m.- 12 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - 5/15/14 - For the first time in television history, all 11 co-hosts of ABC's 'The View,' present and past, shared the same stage, live, THURSDAY, MAY 15 on ABC to celebrate the shows creator Barbara Walters. Walters is the last remaining co-host of the original panel of five women she helped assemble. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 a.m.- 12 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - 5/15/14 - For the first time in television history, all 11 co-hosts of ABC's 'The View,' present and past, shared the same stage, live, THURSDAY, MAY 15 on ABC to celebrate the shows creator Barbara Walters. Walters is the last remaining co-host of the original panel of five women she helped assemble. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 a.m.- 12 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
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Hasselbeck clapped back at O’Donnell’s remarks during a March 26 episode of Fox & Friends. “I read it and I immediately started praying,” she said. “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.”

O’Donnell also came under fire for slamming Kelly Ripa in Ladies Who Punch, more than a decade after the SMILF actress accused theLive With Kelly and Ryan cohost of being homophobic towardClay Aiken. (In 2006, Ripa joked that she didn’t know where the American Idol alum’s mouth had been while he guest-hosted Live with her.)

“I had just held a crying boy and then watched him be gay-bashed by Kelly Ripa,” O’Donnell said in the book. “I think Kelly Ripa is mean and she doesn’t like me, and she has never wanted to discuss what happened. She wanted to have this weird feud.”

A source told Us, meanwhile, that O’Donnell “called” Ripa in 2006 to apologize for her remarks on The View about the situation.

“People around Kelly are confused why Rosie is bringing this up. This is absurd and offensive. Kelly has been supportive of and revered by the LGBTQ community,” a second insider told Us. “She has such love for them and the feeling is returned.”

Setoodeh, for his part, tells Us in a statement that he is appreciative O’Donnell was a part of his project.

“I’m grateful that Rosie O’Donnell sat down with me for an honest conversation for my book,” the author tells Us. “She fundamentally changed The View and is an influential part of the show’s history.”

Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View is available now.

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Barbara Walters through the years
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Barbara Walters through the years
THE VIEW - The View has been celebrating Barbara Walters' unparalleled career all season with The Year of Barbara, a look back at many of her most notable interviews, originally featured on ABCs 20/20.' On WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26 (11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, ET), attorney Sunny Hostin is the featured guest co-host and joins Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Jenny McCarthy and Walters for the hour. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Broadcasting legend Barbara Walters says goodbye to daily television with her final co-host appearance on THE VIEW, airing FRIDAY, MAY 16 (11am-12noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. A surprise appearance from Oprah Winfrey leads to one historic, monumental television event when Winfrey does a landmark roll call of introducing 25 incredible female journalists who were influenced by Barbara Walters. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - 5/15/14 - For the first time in television history, all 11 co-hosts of ABC's 'The View,' present and past, shared the same stage, live, THURSDAY, MAY 15 on ABC to celebrate the shows creator Barbara Walters. Walters is the last remaining co-host of the original panel of five women she helped assemble. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 a.m.- 12 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Barbara Walters says farewell to live daily television with her final co-host appearance on The View, the daytime program she created for ABC airing Friday, May 16, 2014. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 a.m.- 12 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger, journalist/tv personality Barbara Walters and former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg attend A Celebration of Barbara Walters Cocktail Reception Red Carpet at the Four Seasons Restaurant on May 14, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Journalist/tv personality Barbara Walters attends A Celebration of Barbara Walters Cocktail Reception Red Carpet at the Four Seasons Restaurant on May 14, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer attend the 'Barbara Walters Building' ABC News Headquarters Dedication Ceremony on May 12, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: (L-R) James Goldston, President ABC News; Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company; Anne Sweeney, Co-chair, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group; ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer; Barbara Walters; ABC News anchor David Muir, ABC 'Good Morning America' anchor Robin Roberts and ABC 'Good Morning America' anchor George Stephanopoulos attend the dedication ceremony as ABC News headquarters in New York is proclaimed 'The Barbara Walters Building' ABC News Headquarters Dedication Ceremony on May 12, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Media personality Barbara Walters attends The Guild Hall of East Hampton: Academy Of The Arts Lifetime Achievement Awards at Sotheby's on March 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30: Barbara Walters attends the 'A Long Way Down' New York Premiere at City Cinemas 123 on June 30, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
THE VIEW - Legendary broadcaster Barbara Walters will make her first ever guest appearance on 'The View,' the daytime program she created for ABC, on Friday, June 27, 2014. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
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With reporting by Nicki Gostin

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