Rosie O'Donnell Speaks Out About Daughter Chelsea: She's 'in a Crisis'
By Meredith B. Kile
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Rosie O’Donnell held her 12th annual Theater Kids’ Gala Celebration in New York City on Monday night, and was joined by three of her kids: 20-year-old Parker, 16-year-old Blake, and 13-year-old Vivienne. Noticeably absent was O’Donnell’s 18-year-old daughter Chelsea, who recently gave an interview to Inside Edition about her estranged relationship with her adoptive mother.
"I have a daughter who's in a crisis," Rosie told ET on Monday. "Any mother or father who's ever had a child in crisis, they know it's upsetting until your child is once again safely on the shore and not in [the] rapids. Sadly, right now, Chelsea seems to be in the rapids and her family loves her and misses her."
Chelsea and Rosie’s story made headlines this summer after the the former View host reported her daughter missing when she allegedly ran away from home. Chelsea, who turned 18 shortly after the incident, now tells a different story, claiming that Rosie kicked her out of the house.
"I care about her and I hope she's doing well," Chelsea, who no longer lives with her adoptive family, told Inside Edition of Rosie. "But love is a big word and I wouldn't really use that."
Rosie told ET that her other older children have no trouble understanding the situation with Chelsea because "they’ve lived it."
"This is not new," she said. "It's new for the public to know about it. But it's not new for a challenge in our family. For over a decade, we've all been invested in trying to find the right kind of safety net, for Chelsea to feel all the love that life has to offer. I'm hoping that one day, she realizes and when she does fall, we will catch her regardless."
Rosie’s Theater Kids organization has been serving some of New York City’s poorest students for over a decade now, and the former TV host and Broadway buff told ET that having an impact on kids’ lives through arts education, counseling, and tutoring is "amazing."
"The letters that I get from those kids, you know, [they are] the first people in their family usually in college. [It’s] the first time they've had a lesson in in dance and theater, in music," she explained. "We do go to the poorest schools in New York City, based on the amount of free lunches that are given out, so these are the neediest kids in New York. And something about being able to serve them, I think, serves us all.'
Rosie’s friend, actress and Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth was honored at Monday’s celebration, and the TV star could not stop gushing about her talented pal.
"Listen I would like to honor her every day," Rosie said. "In fact, I do by singing or listening to her sing. She's just one of a kind, unique, unbelievable...she's American theater royalty and a legend. And she's as kind as she is talented. I adore her."
Someone who won’t be getting honored by Rosie anytime soon is GOP presidential hopeful and notorious O’Donnell antagonist Donald Trump, who will be hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend. Unsurprisingly, Rosie said she has no plans to tune in.
"I usually don't stay up that late," she told ET, "but usually if I see his name, I skip."