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Rosie O’Donnell Reveals Her Late Dad Sexually Abused Her: Star Felt 'Powerless'

Rosie O’Donnell Sexually Abused By Father Growing Up
Source: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Mar. 13 2019, Updated 9:07 p.m. ET

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Rosie O’Donnell has revealed that her own father sexually abused her when she was growing up, has learned.

The former talk show host, 56, has previously mentioned her history of sexual abuse as a child, including on the Howard Stern Show in 2017.

But she's never before blamed her late dad, Edward Joseph, who died in 2015.

In a shocking disclosure, O’Donnell said of the alleged abuse in the upcoming book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View,’ “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.

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“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 revelation comes in a chapter of the new book devoted to the impact her hugely popular self-titled daytime talk show had on TV.

The famed comedienne has previously said about her lifelong depression, “I have suicide ideation — it means you think about it, you never make the plan necessarily of how you’re going to do it.”

On Piers Morgan's CNN show in 2012, Rosie didn't blame her father, but noted, "He had his own issues and demons" as a widower having to raise her and her four other siblings.

She vaguely added at the time, "There's some unforgiveable things."

Edward Joseph
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However, Rosie told Piers, "I have forgiven him."

But now, she wants fans to know the excruciating truth.

Years later, things seem to be turning around for the controversial star. Rosie is engaged to Elizabeth Rooney, a mounted police officer in Worcester, Mass. and became a first-time grandmother after daughter Chelsea welcomed a newborn baby girl with boyfriend Jacob Bourassa last year.

Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View’ hits bookshelves April 2, 2019.

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