The 52-year-old comedian announced Friday that she’s refocusing her life after separating from wife Michelle Rounds.
“She’s focused on her kids now. This is the right thing for her to do,” her rep Cindi Berger tells PEOPLE. “The stress of a daily live talk show is a lot – and the separation is a lot, and you reach a certain point where you have to put health and family first, and she has.
“She had a wake up call in 2012, a near fatal heart attack, and her doctors told her, ‘You have to take care of yourself, you have five children.’ Reliving her heart attack as she went through the editing process of her [HBO] heart documentary was sobering for her.”
HOWEVER, a source from The View says the truth is that O’Donnell is leaving because of drama on the set, of the Whoopi Goldberg variety.
When O’Donnell came back in September alongside new co-hosts Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace, she expected to be the “de facto moderator,” the show insider says. But View vet Whoopi Goldberg was also a head of the table.
“Once it became clear that Whoopi would not in any way be taking a backseat to her, it became all the more difficult for Rosie to reconcile the fact that she was so diametrically opposed to so many of the things Whoopi had to say, from her support of [Bill] Cosby to her position on foreign invasions, to more recent events,” the insider says.
“It was bad enough that Whoopi was sitting in what Rosie considered “her” seat … but to sit there and spout things that made Rosie’s blood boil, was almost too much to take,” the insider continues. “What made it even worse was that Rosie didn’t even really expect this from Whoopi – she thought the two of them might be somewhat aligned ideologically, and that Nicolle would be the one she’d clash with.”
Okay, look, I’m gonna come out and say that I don’t watch The View, so I can’t really comment on this and know what I’m talking about, but I will say that both Goldberg and O’Donnell are very strong personalities, and when you have two strong personalities like that, they either get along swimmingly or they clash horribly. It could very well be that O’Donnell couldn’t handle giving up her spotlight to Whoopi, or it could also very well be that in the midst of a separation, a daily talk show is too much for her to handle right now. Both sound kind of like bullshit reasons to me, TBH, but hey, it’s not my life, it’s hers, and she doesn’t have to justify anything. Live your life, Rosie O’Donnell! Be well! Etc etc.
Anyone who actually watches The View wanna tell me about what they think is the real reason for Rosie leaving? Was there lots of noticeable tension between the two talk show stars?