Rosie O’Donnell Called Kelly Ripa to Apologize After Calling Her ‘Mean,’ Accusing Her of Gay-Bashing Clay Aiken


Making amends? A source exclusively told Us Weekly that Rosie O’Donnell called Kelly Ripa to say she was sorry for dredging up their 2006 feud over Clay Aiken in a new tell-all book called Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of the View by Ramin Setoodeh.

“Rosie actually called Kelly to apologize after her remarks, but she has kept up with this alternate reality for public consumption,” the source said.

The Riverdale star’s friends, meanwhile, are baffled by her comments. “People around Kelly are confused why Rosie is bringing this up. This is absurd and offensive. Kelly has been supportive of and revered by the LGBTQ community,” another insider told Us. “She has such love for them and the feeling is returned.”

Rosie O’Donnell Apologized to Kelly Ripa for Gay-Bashing Comment
Rosie O’Donnell and Kelly Ripa Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic; Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The insider also noted that the incident resulted in O’Donnell outing Aiken: “At the best it is careless and thoughtless, at the worst it is dangerous and an extraordinary violation.”

The View cohost, 57, slammed the Live With Kelly and Ryan star, 48, for teasing the American Idol alum during his stint as a guest cohost on a 2006 episode of Live With Regis and Kelly in an exclusive Us Weekly excerpt from the book on Thursday, March 28.

“I don’t know where that’s been, honey!” Ripa crowed after Aiken put his hand over her mouth.

O’Donnell took issue with her comment on the View the following day, calling it “homophobic.” “If that was a straight man, if that was a cute man, if that was a guy that she didn’t question his sexuality, she would’ve said a different thing.”

The Flinstones star explained her reaction in the book, saying that the “Invisible” singer had recently appeared on the View at the time, where he had been in tears about whether or not he should come out. “I had just held a crying boy and then watched him be gay-bashed by Kelly Ripa,” she told Setoodeh.

The A League of Their Own actress went on to say that her relationship with the talk show host never recovered from the incident. “I think Kelly Ripa is mean and she doesn’t like me, and she has never wanted to discuss what happened. She wanted to have this weird feud.”

She continued: “She’s the girl from Pine Valley. She and her husband met on the show. That’s my f–ing sweet spot. I would have loved her my whole life. I see her at concerts sometimes. She just looks away.”

Aiken also recalled the feud in the book, telling the author, “The truth is [O’Donnell] outed me in a way, because I had not been out yet. When she said the words, ‘If that was a straight man,’ she was confirming that she knew that I wasn’t. That was the worst day of my life. I don’t think I’d had a moment more devastating to me. I remember feeling like s–t that day and totally defeated. But I definitely wasn’t mad at her.”

The former reality show contestant said that O’Donnell later helped him to come out officially by introducing him to her publicist.

With reporting by Brody Brown

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