Rosie O'Donnell Says She Doesn't 'Trust' Former Friend Ellen DeGeneres

Rosie O’Donnell said she doesn’t have any plans on mending her and Ellen DeGeneres’ strained friendship.

“I knew her for so many years. It just felt like I don’t trust this person to be in my world,” O’Donnell, 61, said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on Thursday, June 15.

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The two comedians became friends in the late ‘90s, as both the Now and Then actress’ popular talk show, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, and DeGeneres’ self-titled sitcom, Ellen, premiered in 1996. “It was a good relationship. We were friends. We supported each other,” O’Donnell told the outlet. The Finding Dory star, 65, even jokingly hinted at her sexuality by coming out as “Lebanese” on O’Donnell’s talk show in 1996.

However, O’Donnell noted that their relationship changed after DeGeneres officially came out as gay on a 1997 episode of Ellen.

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“It became strange, ‘There can’t be two lesbians in this town,’ kind of thing,” O’Donnell — who was previously married to Kelli Carpenter in 2004 and Michelle Rounds from 2012 to 2015 — stated. “Then we each had success and went separate ways.”

O’Donnell revealed that DeGeneres — whose eponymous talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show concluded its 19-season run in 2022 — checked in on her via text “a few weeks ago,” before bringing up the “mean” comment that led to their falling out.

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“She said it on Larry King Live. Larry King said, ‘Whatever happened to Rosie O’Donnell’s show? She went down the tubes as soon as she came out,’” O’Donnell explained. “And the quote that Ellen said was, ‘I don’t know Rosie. We’re not friends.’ I was watching TV in bed with my wife going, ‘Did she just say that?’”

O’Donnell noted she would “never” say something like that about a close friend. “When she was in a perplexing situation and people were saying things about her, I said, ‘Let me stand next to you and say that I’m Lebanese, too,’” she quipped to The Hollywood Reporter. “When it was a downward media time for me, she didn’t do anything.”

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During her recent text conversation with DeGeneres — who’s been married to Portia de Rossi since 2008 — O’Donnell said the former Ellen’s Game of Games host apologized for her Larry King Live comments, although she didn’t remember saying them.

“I guess she saw me talk about it on Andy Cohen‘s show,” the mother of five stated. “I remembered it so well, I had T-shirts printed and I gave them to my staff that said ‘I don’t know Rosie. We’re not friends.’”

Not to mention, O’Donnell said she turned down any opportunities to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show after her former friend once told her she couldn’t be a guest on the series.

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