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Rosie O’Donnell Gets Real with Oprah: Discusses Her New Show, Divorce and More

Rosie O’Donnell Gets Real with Oprah: Discusses Her New Show, Divorce and More

Rosie opens up to Oprah Winfrey about her new show and picking up the pieces after her divorce in 2007. O’Donnell who famously wed her partner, Kelli Carpenter, in San Francisco in 2004, spoke about picking up the pieces after their divorce in 2007.

The comedian, actress and talk show host opens up to Oprah Winfrey in O Magazine’s new cover story.

"You know, I think I had a lot more rage than I was aware of," O'Donnell says in the October issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. "But I’ve gotten back access to my other feelings. I’m not cut off from my emotions anymore … The rage has gone away … There’s been a healing."

O’Donnell who famously wed her partner, Kelli Carpenter, in San Francisco in 2004, discusses picking up the pieces after their divorce in 2007.

She calls the experience, "Humbling. And humiliating … In the O’Donnell family, no one had ever been divorced," she says.

O'Donnell says it was ultimately their different lifestyles that drove the couple apart.

"She wanted to play tennis at the country club, and I don’t do country clubs. I tried," according to O'Donnell. "They made an exception for a gay family, and we joined. It was a big thing: 'They let in a gay family – whoo!' So I show up to play with her, and somebody comes out and says, 'You can’t play unless you have tennis whites.'"

As O’Donnell settles in with her large family in Chicago to prep for her new show on OWN Network, she shares this is all "a new beginning for me. For the first time in a long time, I’m excited."

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For her part, Oprah has no doubts about the success of Rosie’s program. "In 25 years of doing my show only one competitor ever seriously challenged me in the ratings: Rosie O’Donnell," Winfrey says. "From the day Rosie took her place among the crowded field of talk show hosts, I knew she had the ‘It’ thing."

And while she was once known as ‘The Queen of Nice’ during her daytime talk show’s hey-day, the devoted mom of four actually struggled with a lot of anger and fury for years, according to the interview.

"I had, like, zero estrogen," O’Donnell reveals. "And since I got some, I’ve been able to function more normally. I’ve stopped being so angry."

Her children inspire her to keep improving, she says. "I would die for any of my children, and, more importantly, I would live for any of them," she says.

As for the years before she officially came out, O’Donnell says she was less in the closet than you’d think.

"The only people who didn’t know were the audience," she laughs.

Read more in the new issue of O.

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Lily Shavick