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Rosie O’Donnell on Estranged Daughter Chelsea: “We Hope She’s Safe and Starts to Make Some Better Choices”

Rosie O'Donnell
Rosie O'Donnell opened up to Us Weekly exclusively about her estranged daughter, Chelsea, on Monday, Nov. 2 -- get the details here.

So much to be said. Rosie O’Donnell opened up to Us Weekly on Monday, Nov. 2, about her estranged adopted daughter, Chelsea, who chose to live with her birth mother after she turned 18 years old.

O’Donnell, 53, was supported at her Rosie’s Theater Kids Gala in NYC, by her three children, Parker, 20, Blake, 15, and Vivienne, 12, whom she also shares with her ex-wife Kelli Carpenter, and by close pal Tatum O’Neal at the tail end of the red carpet. “Yes, all of my kids except Chelsea [are here],” O’Donnell told Us at the event. “Which is sad, but hopefully, there will come a day when she’ll want to come.”

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rosie and tatum
Rosie O’Donnell and Tatum O’Neal attend Rosie’s Theater Kids’ 12th Annual Gala Celebration at The New York Marriott Marquis on November 2, 2015 in New York City.

The situation at home escalated this past August when Chelsea went temporarily missing, prompting Rosie to post an alert on social media and her website. The concerned mom revealed that her missing girl was off her prescribed medication at the time. Chelsea, who was then a minor, was eventually found with a 25-year-old man, whom she met on Tinder. Last month, the teen entered into the legal age of adulthood — 18 — and opted to live with her birth mother.

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rosie and family
Vivienne Carpenter-O’Donnell, Kelli Carpenter, Chelsea Carpenter-O’Donnell, Rosie O’Donnell, Blake Carpenter-O’Donnell and Parker Carpenter-O’Donnell attend the HBO screening of A Family is A Family: A Rosie O’Donnell Celebration at the HBO Theater on January 19, 2010 in New York City.

“Well, it’s not really a new situation for our family,” Rosie reflected with Us on Monday night. “I know it’s new for the press so it seems to be making a big splash, but it’s been a situation that the whole family has had to deal with for over a decade. It hasn’t been easy, but we love her very much, and we hope she’s safe and starts to make some better choices.”

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The comic has openly posted about her personal life on social media. “I think I always have,” she told Us. “I grew up in a family where there were a lot of secrets and those secrets were not very healthy. I’ve been accused of never having a thought enter my head that doesn’t come out of my mouth, which may be true. I don’t know. I just think there are so many people. I’ve been getting so many letters on whatever seems to be the issue in my life. When I had a heart attack so many people emailed — I had this symptom and [said], ‘Thank you. I saw your symptom so the situation with my daughter is similar.'”

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Rosie again pointed to her daughter’s mental illness, which she explained has affected Chelsea and their family for years.

“There’s a crisis of health for children who have challenges in their perception,” she elaborated to Us. “And we were lucky enough to get her the best help available in the United States. But when a child turns 18, there’s nothing legally that a parent can do, and she’s turned 18. So, we hope that she is safe, number one, and that she finds her way back home.”

rosie and chelsea
(L-R) Vivienne Rose O’Donnell, Rosie O’Donnell, Chelsea Belle O’Donnell and Blake Christopher O’Donnell attend the 5th Annual Rosie’s Theater Kids Spring Benefit at The Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater on May 17, 2015 in New York City.

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