Rosie O'Donnell left "The View" with a bang, not a whimper, following her on-air smackdown with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Wednesday. Yesterday, Rosie's chief writer, Janette Barber, was allegedly escorted from the building after she was caught drawing moustaches on photographs of Hasselbeck that hang in the "View" studios.
The Post's Adam Buckman reports ABC confirmed in a statement only that "photographs at 'The View's' offices were defaced. Rosie O'Donnell was not in the building. ABC Legal and Human Resources are investigating the matter." Barber is an old friend of O'Donnell who worked with her years ago on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show."
There were also rumors O'Donnell was so angry after her argument with Hasselbeck that she trashed her dressing room, although ABC denied the tantrum. Meanwhile, "The View" went on yesterday without O'Donnell, who was taking a previously planned day off to celebrate partner Kelli Carpenter's 40th birthday.
Hasselbeck - who had tangled with O'Donnell before about President Bush's handling of the Iraq war - was on the show with Joy Behar, Barbara Walters and guest host Kathy Griffin. The four discussed the blowup only briefly before switching topics. As for O'Donnell, she's been posting comments on her personal Web site, rosie.com, fueling speculation she might not return to "The View" ever again. Her scheduled last day is Wednesday, June 20.
When one fan wrote, "Work isn't worth that battle," Rosie replied, "Agreed." Another wrote, "Please walk away. It's not worth it." Rosie replied, "Well, you know when it's time to go." To a fan who asked when she would return, O'Donnell answered, "No idea." Yesterday, O'Donnell posted a video that may have symbolized how she's feeling about "The View." The tape consisted of ducks swimming in a pond accompanied by an audio track of the John Mayer song "Vultures," whose lyrics include "How will I hold my head to keep from going under?" Officially, "The View" expects O'Donnell to return to work on Tuesday.