Good Evening
Good Evening

LI native Rosie O'Donnell confirms engagement to Army veteran Elizabeth Rooney

Elizabeth Rooney and Rosie O'Donnell attend Family Equality

Elizabeth Rooney and Rosie O'Donnell attend Family Equality Council's 'Night At The Pier' at Manhattan's Pier 60 on May 7. Credit: Getty Images for Family Equality/Astrid Stawiarz

Comedian Rosie O'Donnell and Massachusetts police officer Elizabeth Rooney have confirmed their engagement.

O'Donnell, 56, confirmed the news to People magazine Monday at the 15th-anniversary gala of her Rosie's Theater Kids arts-education group at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan. Afterward, Rooney, 33, posted an Instagram photo of her hand with a large, square-cut diamond ring. "YES!" she wrote, alongside emoji of a heart and an engagement ring.

The Commack-born O'Donnell told People that any wedding "is a long time in the future. We both decided that that would be best."

The comic joked about the couple's more than two-decade age difference, "I keep telling her I'm too old for her. But she doesn't seem to care. . . . She's like, 'I was in the Army! I put my life on the line every day; you think I don't know who I want to date?' I'm like, 'Alright [sic] I guess that's true.' " The couple took their relationship public in November 2017, The Boston Globe said at the time. The two had met while O'Donnell was in the area shooting her South Boston-set Showtime series "SMILF."

"She lives in Boston now and I live here in New York," O'Donnell told People. "It's been a long-distance thing. It's been great. I think she's a wonderful woman," she said, adding, "She's very much an equal, she's very much her own person and loves what she does. She's a pretty unbelievable young woman." Rooney is a U.S. Army veteran who had entered basic training in 2004, according to her Instagram account, and served for eight years, O'Donnell told "Extra" in November. She joined the Worcester, Massachusetts, police department in 2016, and the following year became a member of its Police Mounted Patrol Unit.

On Oct. 9, Us Weekly said a representative for O'Donnell had responded simply, "They are together," following a tabloid report that the comedian had proposed to Rooney over the summer.

O'Donnell had married Kelli Carpenter in February 2004 during a window in which San Francisco conducted same-sex marriages. The California Supreme Court annulled theirs and thousands of other marriages that August. The couple broke up in 2007. O'Donnell went on to marry Michelle Rounds in 2012 but filed for divorce in February 2015. It was finalized a little over a year later. Rounds committed suicide in September 2017, at age 46.

O'Donnell has five children: Parker Jaren, whom she adopted in 1995; Chelsea Belle, adopted in 1997; Blake Christopher, adopted with Carpenter in 1999; Vivienne Rose, 15, born to Carpenter through artificial insemination; and Dakota, adopted as a newborn with Rounds in January 2013.

More Entertainment