Rosie O’Donnell spoke for the first time about the abuse she experienced at the hands of her father in a forthcoming book about The View.
The book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of “The View” by Variety bureau chief Ramin Satoodeh, details the sexual abuse O’Donnell experienced from her father, Edward Joseph, at a young age.
“It started very young,” O’Donnell said, according to Variety. “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 father died in 2015. Her mother died when she was 10. O’Donnell has long been an outspoken advocate for survivors of sexual abuse and supported Dylan Farrow in 2014 when she alleged that her father, director Woody Allen, sexually abused her at the age of 7.
“I’m very anti-Roman Polanski and anti-Woody Allen,” O’Donnell says. “It’s a pretty clear line for me.”
One chapter in the book focuses both on Rosie O’Donnell’s successful daytime show, The Rosie O’Donnell Show and then her one-year stint on The View, replacing Meredith Vieira as the show’s moderator from 2006-2007. O’Donnell returned for six months in September 2014 after Barbara Walters retired.
Ladies Who Punch is out April 2.