Rosie O’Donnell reveals what ex-friend Ellen DeGeneres said to Larry King that caused epic grudge

Rosie. Ellen. Two TV talk show hosts with almost everything in common, other than personality, appearance and level of success. Guess which one holds a grudge against the other?

Bravo’s Andy Cohen recently had Rosie O’Donnell on his show, “Watch What Happens Live.” During the interview, O’Donnell, 60, confessed to having hurt feelings toward DeGeneres, who is 64.

In 1996, when everyone was a lot younger, O’Donnell introduced DeGeneres as “my buddy Ellen DeGeneres” on an episode of her show, whereupon they compared notes on their decisions to become “Lebanese” (a humorous euphemism for lesbian).

On air from 1996 to 2002, “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” was the platform for Rosie’s discussion about her decision to publicly emerge from the closet, while Ellen sat opposite her.

Everything seemed congenial. But then Ellen had to go and ruin it all.

Two years later, in 1998, DeGeneres had Larry King on her show. Something she said is still stuck in O’Donnell’s craw 24 years later.

“After my show went off the air and hers was coming on the air,” O’Donnell recalls, “Larry King was on with Ellen, and he said, ‘What ever happened to Rosie O’Donnell? Her show went down the tubes! She came out as a lesbian and disappeared!'”

How did DeGeneres respond to King’s question?

“Ellen said, and I’m quoting, ‘I don’t know Rosie. We’re not friends,'” reported O’Donnell, getting it off her chest after all these years.

O’Donnell recalls her own reaction, referring to her ex-wife Kelli Carpenter.

“I was in bed with Kelli, and I said, ‘Did I just hear that? Or was that a hallucination?”

Cohen asked O’Donnell if DeGeneres ever invited her to appear on her show during its 19-year run. Initially, O’Donnell said no but later clarified that she actually was asked to appear during the final season. She said that she was asked on to talk about her Showtime show, “SMILF,” but the appearance never transpired.

“I was gonna go on for ‘SMILF,’ but I wanted to bring someone else with me so it was a little less awkward,” she said. “They didn’t want to do that.”

It’s important to note that O’Donnell does not have any resentment toward DeGeneres and wishes her well. Obviously.

“I wish her all good things in her life and that she should be well,” said the altruist.

People who have been around long enough might remember DeGeneres publicly airing her assumption that her career would be ended when she announced that she was gay.

“When I came out, people warned me that it was going to ruin my career, and they were right for a while,” she said, 25 years after the “coming out” episode of her sitcom aired.

“Actually, for exactly three years, I lost my career. But look at me now.”

For more on the Rosie/Ellen melodrama, there is a YouTube video with Graeme O’Neil doing an Inside-Hollywood style review of O’Donnell’s grievance.


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