Commack-raised Rosie O'Donnell says she was sexually abused by her late father, Edward Joseph, Variety reports.
"It started very young,” O’Donnell told Variety's New York bureau chief Ramin Setoodeh for his upcoming book, “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View’." “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. On the whole, it’s not something I like to talk about. 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.”
O’Donnell’s father died of cancer in 2015. She has long spoken about the difficult relationship she had with her father, but had never revealed the abuse until now.Her mother, Roseann, died of breast cancer when the future talk-show host was 10.
O’Donnell, who turns 57 next week, has been a longtime advocate for sexual abuse victims, speaking out against alleged sexual predators such as Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski. She was one of the first public figures to say she believed Dylan Farrow, who has alleged that her father, Woody Allen, sexually assaulted her at the age of 7.
“I’m very anti-Roman Polanski and anti-Woody Allen,” O’Donnell says in the book. “It’s a pretty clear line for me.”
“Ladies Who Punch” comes out April 2.