Rosie O’Donnell has accused her late father of sexually assaulting her throughout her early childhood.
The A League of Their Own star went public with the claims in a candid chat with Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh, detailing her traumatic youth for the writer’s forthcoming book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View.
Rosie, 56, served as a panelist on the U.S. talk show for just under two seasons from 2006 to 2007, and again in late 2014, and while she would regularly touch on her troubled family history and serve as an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, she never revealed why she was so passionate about the cause – until now.
In the book, Rosie delves into her painful past, alleging her dad, Edward Joseph O’Donnell, touched her inappropriately for years, until she lost her mum to breast cancer in 1973, when the budding actress was just 10 years old.
“It started very young,” she explained. “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,” she continued. “Of course, it changes everyone. Any child who is put in that position, especially by someone in the family, you feel completely powerless and stuck, because the person you would tell is the person doing it.”
Edward lost his battle with cancer in 2015, aged 81.
Rosie previously revealed she had learned to forgive her dad for the wrongdoings of his past.
In an interview with British newsman Piers Morgan in 2012, she shared, “He had his own issues and demons. You get to be 50 years old, you can’t still be angry at what your father did in 1970… I have forgiven him.”
Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View is set for release next month (Apr19).
– Cover Media0