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Rosie drops from 'View'

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 26, 2007


Rosie O'Donnell has fought her last fight at The View. ABC said Friday she won't be back on the show following her angry confrontation with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Wednesday.

O'Donnell asked for, and received, an early exit from her contract. She was due to leave in mid June.

"Rosie contributed to one of our most exciting and successful years at The View, " show creator and co-host Barbara Walters said. "I am most appreciative. Our close and affectionate relationship will not change."

In a statement, O'Donnell said she was grateful. "It's been an amazing year, and I love all three women, " a reference to her regular co-hosts, who also included Joy Behar.

Wednesday on the daytime talk show, O'Donnell and Hasselbeck, who have professed to be friends despite political differences, waged a fierce battle over a remark O'Donnell made last week in which she implied that the United States had engaged in terrorism in Iraq.

They've frequently had snippy political exchanges during O'Donnell's year on the show, but never as long and loud as that one. O'Donnell complained that Hasselbeck did not defend her against conservative critics who claimed she had called the troops "terrorists." Hasselbeck said O'Donnell had a responsibility to defend her own words. The back-and-forth escalated as the women raised their voices, pointedly jabbed their fingers in the air and called each other "cowardly."

Meanwhile, the New York Post reported that a View writer for O'Donnell was escorted out of the ABC building on Thursday after she was caught drawing moustaches on pictures of Hasselbeck that hang in the show's studios. O'Donnell's rep was not available for comment Friday, People magazine said.

ABC confirmed that photographs at The View's offices were defaced, the Post reported. "ABC Legal and Human Resources are investigating the matter, " the network said. It did not name anyone in connection with the incident.

O'Donnell took a previously scheduled day off Thursday to celebrate the birthday of her partner, Kelli Carpenter. The View aired a taped show Friday.

Information from the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times was used in this report.