Rosie O’Donnell Ally Says Working for Her ‘Wasn’t Hell’

Mar 19, 2012 10:18am
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While one of Rosie O’Donnell’s former staffers called working for her a  ”f**king hellhole,” others close to the daytime talk maven are defending her following the cancellation of her OWN show.

“It wasn’t hell,” a source who worked for O’Donnell told ABCNews.com today. “Rosie’s a great person. She’s a great talent. If folks have other opinions, that’s fine, but I would work with her again in a heartbeat.”

The Daily Beast cited sources at OWN who described O’Donnell losing her temper and “uncontrollably yell[ing]” backstage during her five months helming “The Rosie Show.” After premiering in late October, the show faltered in ratings, bringing in around 200,000 viewers in its 7 p.m. time slot. It went through two executive producers before Oprah Winfrey pulled the plug on Friday.

In a statement, Winfrey said, “I thank Rosie from the bottom of my heart for joining me on this journey. She has been an incredible partner, working to deliver the best possible show every single day.”

O’Donnell said in a statement that she loved working with Winfrey, adding, “I was welcomed with open arms and will never forget the kindness of all I encountered. It was a great year for me — I wish the show was able to attract more viewers — but it did not. So I am headed back to my home in New York — with gratitude. On we go!”

The final episode of “The Rosie Show” will tape Tuesday in Chicago; it will air March 30.

O’Donnell previously headlined the Emmy-winning “Rosie O’Donnell Show,” from 1996 to 2002. She also served as moderator of “The View” from 2006 to 2007, leaving the show following a heated, on-air exchange with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

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