In an upcoming book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View by Variety’s New York bureau chief Ramin Setoodeh, Rosie O’Donnell is opening up about a traumatic childhood experience. O’Donnell talked for the first time about the alleged sexual abuse she endured at the hands of her late father, Edward Joseph. (Joseph died in 2015.)
“It started very young,” O’Donnell, 56, told Setoodeh of the alleged abuse. “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.” Details of the alleged sexual abuse appear in a chapter about The Rosie O’Donnell Show, which aired from 1996 to 2002.
During an appearance on The Howard Stern Show in November, O’Donnell discussed her own mental health — “I have major depressive disorder — luckily, I’m medicated,” she said. She then connected the sexual abuse she experienced as a child with her body-image struggles. O’Donnell has been a longtime advocate for those who battle mental illness and depression, as well as victims of sexual abuse.
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