Rosie O’Donnell reminisced about a conversation Ellen DeGeneres had in the past with Larry King, revealing why the two are not close friends. Rosie admitted to feeling the tension between herself and DeGeneres during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. O’Donnell said that she had DeGeneres on as a guest on her tv show. However, she was never invited to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show until the very end of its 19-season run.
Cohen was surprised to learn Rosie O’Donnell had never guested on Ellen. He asked.”Did they not ask [you to appear]?” Rosie’s response was direct. “No,” she said. She elaborated on the rift, which dated back some years.
“We had a little bit of a weird thing, Rosie said. “[It was] after my show went off the air and hers was coming on the air,” she added. “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!'”Rosie wasn’t surprised by King’s statement, but was shocked by Ellen’s response to it. “And Ellen said, and I’m quoting, ‘I don’t know Rosie. We’re not friends.'”
Rosie O’Donnell remembers the moment the rift formed
O’Donnell vividly remembers the moment she saw it happen on tv. “I was in bed with [ex-wife] Kelli [Carpenter] and I said ‘Did I just hear that? Or was that a hallucination?'” she recalled. “And that’s what happened. It hurt my feelings like a baby,” she explained. “And I never really got over it.”
Cohen then said that “they also never asked” if O’Donnell wanted to come on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. But O’Donnell replied that the series did, in fact, extend an invitation to her once near the end of its run. “I was gonna go on for SMILF but I wanted to bring someone else with me so it was a little less awkward,” she recalled. “They didn’t want to do that.” O’Donnell ended the conversation on a positive note, wishing DeGeneres well. “I wish her all good things in her life and that she should be well,” she said.
From 1996 to 2002, The Rosie O’Donnell Show was on the air. DeGeneres came on the show to discuss her experience of coming out as gay in the entertainment industry. Before the “Puppy Episode” on Ellen, which saw DeGeneres come out as lesbian, she told O’Donnell that the character was Lebanese. The joke allowed DeGeneres to address rumors about the character while leaving some of the show’s plot to be revealed. The Ellen DeGeneres Show recently ended its run after 19 seasons. Both women took advantage of their celebrity status to come out and support the LGBTQ+ community.