Blindsided. Rosie O’Donnell’s relationship with her adopted daughter Chelsea is more strained than ever. On Tuesday, Oct. 5, the Daily Mail published a bombshell interview with the 18-year-old, in which she makes startling claims on what it was like to live with the comedian.
It’s “heartbreaking on every level,” O’Donnell’s rep tells Us Weekly in a statement.
As previously reported, Chelsea went missing for nearly two weeks in August before being found with a man named Steven M. Sheerer, whom she reportedly met on the mobile dating app Tinder. (Sheerer was charged with endangering the welfare of a child because Chelsea was only 17 at the time. The Daily Mail reports that she’s now living with Sheerer and his family in Barnegat Township, N.J.)
In her interview, Chelsea claimed that O’Donnell was like two different people. “I find her not genuine a lot of the time. When we’d go out, she was a completely different person in public than at home and I had a hard time with that,” she said, alleging that she’s closer to her former nannies than she is to her adoptive mother.
Chelsea continued: “I feel she should be her real self, who she really is. She has this public persona; she will put this big smile on her face and try to be funny. She would always go up to people and want to hold their babies in public. She had this happy, friendly side to her.”
O’Donnell and her ex-wife Kelli Carpenter share Chelsea and three other children. (She also adopted one child with ex-wife, Michelle Rounds.) Chelsea claimed that meals with the family were often from fast food restaurants and Carpenter was the only person who knew how to cook.
“Our dinners were mostly ordering in pizza or Chinese food,” Chelsea said. “Rosie would eat takeout with us and if there were cookies in the house, she would eat them all. She was always coming into our rooms and asking if we had candy. She would drink beer when we were growing up but after her heart attack she couldn’t. Now I think she drinks wine.”
Chelsea described what the Fosters actress likes to do day-to-day, claiming that some of O’Donnell’s hobbies include “blasting” good friend Madonna’s music, watching documentaries by herself, and doing arts and crafts.
She added: “Rosie wears tight Spandex shorts and a T-shirt around house. She doesn’t get dressed and never wears makeup unless someone comes to do it for her.”
According to Chelsea, her relationship with the star didn’t get much better after O’Donnell and Carpenter split in 2008, and the teen began to struggle with depression and anxiety because of the divorce.
“Rosie’s fuse was really short with me and she would yell. For punishment, we were sent to our rooms, no electronics, not being allowed to hang out with friends,” Chelsea said. “Things were good when I was younger but as I got older, I became more interested in knowing about my birth parents and didn’t really get along with Rosie very well.”
After Chelsea turned 18 on Aug. 24, it was revealed that she had plans to live with her birth mother, Deanna, in Wisconsin. At the time, O’Donnell’s rep confirmed to Us that it was Chelsea’s “choice” to relocate. Chelsea, however, claims that O’Donnell kicked her out. “She asked me to talk about what was going on and I didn’t want to. So she asked for my phone and my computer. This was hours before she told me to leave,” Chelsea claimed.
“Rosie said that I was almost 18, and she got all this crap from work, and she didn’t want to have to deal with that at home too.”
Chelsea also denied that she’s mentally ill, which is what O’Donnell’s rep said when she went missing. “Putting out there that I am mentally ill was really hurtful. People think I’m this crazy person and as I’ve said, I have depression and bad anxiety — but it’s been something that’s gotten a lot better,” the teen said. “I wouldn’t say I’m mentally ill — I would say lots of people struggle with what I have.”
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