Chelsea Handler vs. Heather McDonald: Breaking Down the Feud
By Alex Ungerman
Heather McDonald says this whole thing has been "blown out of proportion."
After remarks she made last week about "living in fear" while working on the Chelsea Lately television show prompted the writer's former boss, Chelsea Handler, to fire back with claims of her own, McDonald took to her podcast, Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald, to try and clear the air.
So what exactly went down between the two comedians? Here's a breakdown of events.
Last week, McDonald appeared on Theo Von and Matthew Cole Weiss’ podcast, Allegedly, where she discussed her time as a writer on E!'s now-defunct Chelsea Lately talk show from 2007-2014. At one point, McDonald admitted she "100 percent lived in fear" while working on the show.
"I enjoyed my time there, I was happy, but something could happen and my heart would be beating and I'd be like, 'Is this it?'" she said. "Somehow, I managed to keep surviving."
"'I think she's a good person, I don't agree with how she treats relationships in her life," McDonald also said during the interview. "'She makes you feel so special, until you're not."
McDonald's remarks prompted Handler to fiercely defend herself. The TV host appeared on Howard Stern's Sirius XM radio show with her own claims that McDonald had leaked stories about her personal life to a magazine while working on the show.
"When I found out at work that she was trading stories to Us Weekly about my personal life in exchange for having her pictures run in the magazine, I could have fired her," said Handler. "She had a job for four more years. I never hung out with her personally again."
Handler added that she didn't fire McDonald because "she was good on the show, she was funny."
"I hope she was living in fear," Handler elaborated, adding that McDonald could have left at any time. "If you're that fearful, go get a job."
“It’s not an internment camp, she can quit,” Handler told ET regarding McDonald’s claims. “So that's silly. Because if you're that fearful -- she was taking clothes out of my closet every other day. She wasn't that fearful.”
Now, McDonald insists that her comment was "taken out of context."
"I want to respond to my interview, where I said, ‘I lived in fear, a hundred percent, lived in fear,’" McDonald clarified on her podcast. "This quote was taken out of context -- I was asked if I was afraid of being let go from the show, and the tabloids took one sentence out of an hour-long podcast and ran it as a headline."
McDonald also took the time to defend herself against Handler's claims.
"I have never betrayed Chelsea Handler," McDonald said bluntly. "I never sold stories to tabloids, or traded them to benefit myself and get myself in them. This is completely untrue and has never happened."
"Chelsea herself said she didn’t even listen to the whole interview," McDonald added. "And I feel badly if she or anyone else misunderstood me, as I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked for her."