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Elisabeth Hasselbeck Responds to Rosie O’Donnell’s Claim of a Mutual Crush

Elisabeth Hasselbeck has responded to Rosie O’Donnell’s mutual crush claims and, not surprisingly, she had quite a bit to say about her former View co-host’s comments. Hasselbeck appeared on Tuesday’s episode of Fox & Friends after learning O’Donnell had “a little bit of a crush” on her — and to address the suggestion that perhaps that crush was reciprocated, albeit secretly.

“The truth is, what she said, if you took her words and replaced ‘Rosie’ for ‘Ronald,’ there would be an objectification of women in the workplace. So that is disturbing and it’s wrong,” Hasselbeck said. “Whether you’re a man or whether you’re a woman, and you’re objectifying women in the workplace, it’s wrong.” Hasselbeck then said she processed her feelings about O’Donnell’s comments by leaning into her spirituality. “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, [this] 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,” she said.

On Monday, Variety published excerpts from the upcoming book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View by Variety writer Ramin Setoodeh. The focus of those excerpts? Revelations from O’Donnell on her feelings toward Hasselbeck, whom she often verbally sparred with when they shared the View table. In fact, many fans speculated the pair’s intense blow-up about the Iraq war led O’Donnell to leave the talk show. The widely accepted perception was that O’Donnell vehemently disliked Hasselback. But O’Donnell offers a contrary truth in Setoodeh’s book, saying, “There was a little bit of a crush. But 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.”

O’Donnell goes on to imply perhaps that crush wasn’t one-sided. “I think there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts,” she suggests. “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.”

And O’Donnell wasn’t wrong about the potential reaction from her former co-star. Hasselbeck, who played ball at Boston College, took issue with O’Donnell’s claim about female athletes. “I think her casting a stereotype on female athletes in what she said… and that all female athletes are a little bit gay… That’s an unfair stereotype and it seems selfish and I think that it’s untrue,” Hasselbeck said on Fox & Friends, which she joined for a time after leaving The View. Ultimately, Hasselbeck admitted that she found O’Donnell’s admissions in the book to be “disturbing” and “offensive.”

Hasselbeck claims she tried to reach out to O’Donnell via phone to discuss the comments but had an old, defunct phone number for her ex-colleague. Hasselbeck also said she forgives O’Donnell, claiming, “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.”

Ladies Who Punch will be available in bookstores on April 2. Meanwhile, Hasselbeck has also authored a book about her time on The View. Out Tuesday, Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith, and Freedom is described as “a deeply intimate journey of faith, told through the important moments in her life.”

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