For years, former talk show host Rosie O’Donnell has stated that she had a strained relationship with her father.
Edward Joseph raised O’Donnell and her four siblings from age 10, after her mother died from breast cancer, according to Variety.
She told CNN in 2012 that her father “had a lot of problems to deal with” after being raised by an abusive father. That led some “unforgivable” mistakes when raising his own children, she said:
“You get to be 50 years old you can’t still be angry at what your father did in 1970. You have to work it out for yourself and find a place for it in your life and not rehash it forever.”
Now, O’Donnell has revealed that her father allegedly sexually abused her as a young child.
The 56-year-old shared her abuse story in the upcoming biographical book, “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View,’” by Ramin Setoodeh.
“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.”
Her father died from cancer in 2015, but the former talk show host said it’s difficult to speak out about because she was so vulnerable at the time:
“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 has five children of her own and recently became a grandmother in December 2018 after her daughter, 21-year-old Chelsea, welcomed a baby girl.
According to The National Center for Victims of Crime, one in five girls are victims of child sexual abuse. Most adolescent victims are abused by someone they know.
“Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View'” will be released on April 2.