Rosie O’Donnell has opened up for the first time about the fact that she was sexually abused by her father, beginning when she was very young.
In a new book, called Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View’, O’Donnell told author Ramin Setoodeh about the abuse she endured at the hands of her father, Edward Joseph, after her mother died from breast cancer when she was 10. From Variety:
“It started very young,” O’Donnell tells Setoodeh. “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. 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.”
O’Donnell has previously alluded to a difficult relationship with her father, though this is the first time she has said explicitly that he sexually abused her. In 2012, she told Piers Morgan that “You get to be 50 years old, you can’t still be angry at what your father did in 1970…I have forgiven him.” He died in 2015 at the age of 81.