Ramin Setoodeh’s brand-new notebook Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, alleges that Lisa Hackner, ABC’s executive vice president of daytime and syndication, told Whoopi Goldberg in 2014 that O’Donnell was getting rehired after Barbara Walters’ departure “to save the show.”
O’Donnell and Goldberg had clashed times earlier in 2009, when O’Donnell showed her disagreement with Goldberg’s assertion that chairman Roman Polanski hadn’t committed “rape rape, ” despite having alleged guilty to statutorily crimes then-1 3-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1979. Goldberg presumably transported O’Donnell an “angry letter, ” and O’Donnell says she reacted diplomatically.
“I’m sorry if that hurt your feelings, ” O’Donnell wrote back to Goldberg, per Ladies Who Punch. “I have different feelings about it than you. And I stand up for what I repute, but I’ll never bet against you, Whoopi Goldberg.”
But when O’Donnell returned to The View and offered up contributions to the daytime talk show — like starting the morning satisfy a half-hour earlier and covering the Bill Cosby rape charges — the 57 -year-old declares Goldberg shut down her minds. And the tension play around on television, too.
“Some people would say,’ What’s going on with you and Whoopi? ’ “ O’Donnell remembers in the tell-all journal. “I was like,’ Are you watching the demo? It’s pretty much right there.’ I have no lust for a public feud.”
Staffers noticed O’Donnell had has become still more “on edge” during her second meter around on The View, the book reports, adding that she would even complain about Goldberg to celebrity guests.
RELATED VIDEO: Whoopi Goldberg Gets Into a Screaming Match with Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro on The View
“Whoopi Goldberg was as mean as anyone has ever been on television to me, personally–while I was sitting there, ” O’Donnell told Setoodeh. “Worse than Fox News. The worst event I’ve ever had on live television was interacting with her.”
O’Donnell acknowledges, though, that she “revered” Goldberg before working with the Ghost star.
“She’s a minority, feminist, smart, funny, groundbreaking legend who is black in America, ” O’Donnell says. “I’m never going to not have respect for Whoopi Goldberg. But that was a distressing experience, personally and professionally.”
* For more on The View, pick up the most recent developments issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday
Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View is out April 2.
Read more: people.com