NOTE: This article contains graphic, sexual language that some readers may find offensive and disturbing. Please read at your own discretion.
Actress and comedian Rosie O’Donnell says she was molested by her father.
O’Donnell told Variety that “it started very young.”
“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,” she said. “On the whole, it’s not something I like to talk about.”
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O’Donnell was 10 years old when her mother, Roseann, died from breast cancer, and in 2015, her father, Edward, died from cancer.
“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,” she said.
The 56-year-old comedian shares the revelation in the upcoming book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View,’ written by Ramin Setoodeh. The book will be published on April 2.
The details about her abuse appear in a chapter about The Rosie O’Donnell Show, which aired from 1996 to 2002.
O’Donnell has previously talked about her difficult relationship with her father in 2012.
“He had his own issues and demons, he had a very tough childhood, he had an alcoholic, abusive father and never really got the help that I think every person needs when they have lived through that as a child,” she said to CNN at the time. “I think that he had a lot of problems to deal with.”
She also said that she’d forgiven her father, even though she felt that what he had done to her and her siblings was “unforgivable.”
“You get to be 50 years old, you can’t still be angry at what your father did in 1970,” O’Donnell said. “You have to work it out for yourself and find a place for it in your life and not rehash it forever.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.