Have you read- or heard about- Chelsea O’Donnell’s interview with London’s Daily Mail? She talked about what life was like at home with Rosie O’Donnell and painted a very different picture from Rosie’s public persona. Rosie responded to her estranged daughter’s comments.
Here’s some of what Chelsea had to say:
I find her not genuine a lot of the time. When we’d go out, she was a completely different person in public than at home and I had a hard time with that. It’s like two different people. I feel she should be her real self, who she really is.
“She has this public persona; she will put this big smile on her face and try to be funny. She would always go up to people and want to hold their babies in public. She had this happy, friendly side to her.
“Whereas when we were home, even if it was on the same day, she would either just be in her room, not engaging with us, or watching documentaries. And if we didn’t want to do what she wanted to do, it would cause a big issue.”
She said Rosie preferred to be by herself a lot.
Rosie would prefer to stay home and watch her shows and kind of do her thing. But on the weekends, my siblings and I would want to go out. My sister [Vivienne] would want to go to the mall or I’d want to get coffee. Rosie wouldn’t want to drive us but there was always someone there to help. There were other people around the house for different reasons and they would take us places when she really wouldn’t want to be doing it.”
That’s why Chelsea feels closer to her nannies, especially Geraldine and Tanya.
Ger has been there since before I was born. She was there for my older brother, Parker. They [Geraldine and Tanya] have both been a huge part of my life and support. If Rosie was in the city, they would stay at the house. Ger lived five minutes away so she was there whenever. There were other nannies in between but those two were significant to me.”
She also spoke out about Rosie’s claims that she was mentally ill and off her medications when she went missing right before her eighteenth birthday.
Putting out there that I am mentally ill was really hurtful. People think I’m this crazy person and as I’ve said, I have depression and bad anxiety – but it’s been something that’s gotten a lot better. But these were personal things and I didn’t want anyone to know them about me.
“I wouldn’t say I’m mentally ill – I would say lots of people struggle with what I have.
“Since I was 12, I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety. It started when Rosie and Kelli got divorced. It was very upsetting to me and I think I took it harder than the rest of my siblings. That’s when everything started to go downhill and I got sent away.
Rosie’s fuse was really short with me and she would yell. For punishment, we were sent to our rooms, no electronics, not being allowed to hang out with friends.
She told me I was different from the other kids. At the beginning of the summer when Parker was acting like a jerk and she was yelling at him, she turned to me and said: ‘See, you’re not the problem child anymore.'”
Chelsea said she lived with Rosie’s ex-wife Kelli Carpenter when she was 12 but was sent to a therapeutic boarding school when she was 13. Although she said the school was helpful, and she’s even still in contact with many of the people there, she admitted that she resented Rosie for sending her there.
I felt I’d been sent away. She [Rosie] said it was because she wanted to protect me and do what was best but I was 12. I was having a lot of struggles, realizing I like boys and not knowing how to handle those feelings. I may not have gone about it in the best way.
“I resent her for that. That’s four years of my life that were spent sent away to places where I had very limited freedom and I didn’t want to be. I think being sent away has played a huge part in why our relationship is so hard.”
That’s tough: it sounds like she felt abandoned.
Chelsea also talked a bit about why Rosie left ‘The View.’
She and Whoopi really didn’t get along and she’d come home every day and talk about how she was stoned on set and she was being really mean to her.
“Rosie said ‘I’ve already had a heart attack, I don’t need this much stress.”
Now that’s interesting. Chelsea also denied running away: she said that she and Rosie had an argument and her mother told her to take her dog and leave.
Rosie knew I was planning to leave, that’s why I think she kicked me out. She asked me to talk about what was going on and I didn’t want to. So she asked for my phone and my computer. This was hours before she told me to leave. I gave them to her. A few hours later, she told me to leave. I wasn’t planning to go until I turned 18 on the 24th. Rosie said that I was almost 18, and she got all this crap from work, and she didn’t want to have to deal with that at home too.”
Chelsea said that after the police brought her back to Rosie, she ended up leaving again.
She had two of my bags packed with clothes. Literally ten minutes after the police had dropped me off at the house, I got in a car and went to a friend’s house. I was there for a week and then on my 18th birthday my birth mom [Deanna Micolley] picked me up and I went to her home in Wisconsin.”
So that was what happened right before Chelsea left home. Clearly she and Rosie have a strained relationship; it’s sad. Chelsea also talked about Rosie’s marriage with Michelle Rounds and more about their family life as well as her own plans for the future. You can read her entire interview at The Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, Rosie’s rep said Chelsea’s interview was “heartbreaking on every level.”
Photos by FAMEFLYNET