Rosie O’Donnell And Clay Aiken Have Different Recollections Of The Kelly Ripa “Homophobic Hand” Incident
Ramin Seetoodeh, author of the upcoming Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of “The View” is going to land a Lipton Tea sponsorship in 3, 2, 1, because dude is spilling piping hot, lemon-tinged, sweet tea all over. In his upcoming tell-all about ABC’s morning harridan factory, he gets into the time Live with Regis and Kelly’s Kelly Ripa questioned where her guest co-host Clay Aiken’s hand had been when he jokingly put it over her mouth. Afterward, and back over at The View, Rosie O’Donnell labeled Kelly Ripa’s remark as “homophobic” while inadvertently outing Clay. In Us Weekly’s excerpt, Rosie and Clay have some story straightening to do because they both recall what happened before and after somewhat differently.
According to Seetoodeh, Kelly and Clay were already on each other’s nerves that week in 2006 when he tried to shut her up with his hand and she told him to get his hand off her mouth and noted: “I don’t know where that’s been, honey!”.
It sort of sounded like Haley from All My Children was implying that Clay (who wasn’t officially out yet) had just been giving free handjobs to sailors in the alley behind Live with Regis and Kelly HQ. Rosie, who had just had Clay on The View, came for Kelly.
She added, “If that was a straight man, if that was a cute man, if that was a guy that she didn’t question his sexuality, she would’ve said a different thing.”
At the time, everyone focused on Rosie dragging Kelly and not Rosie intimating that Clay was heinous in the face. *shrug* Rosie told Seetoodeh that she was feeling very protective of Clay because they had just had a come-to-gay-Jesus moment about his sexuality in her dressing room at The View a couple of days before Handgate.
“He had come into my dressing room, crying about whether or not to come out. And I sat down with him and I talked to him. He was inching his way out in the way so many born-again Southern Christians have to. I hugged him. Not only do I feel the twenty-years-older mother thing, I feel the twenty-years-old younger-gay thing.” When she saw Ripa on TV that day, Rosie couldn’t bottle her anger.
“So I had just held a crying boy and then watched him be gay bashed by Kelly Ripa,” Rosie said.
Rosie claims that Clay called her after she went off Ripa and A) thanked her for defending him and B) noted that “I didn’t know how to come out, so you just did it.”
Clay himself recalls the incident with Rosie a little differently.
“She said, ‘You need to find yourself a boyfriend in North Carolina — not in New York or Los Angeles — and just live peacefully there.’ I said, ‘You’re very presumptuous, Rosie.’ She took my hand, looked me dead in the eye and with more warmth than I think people would imagine she has, she said, ‘Listen, I’m your sister.’ I teared up. It was the very first time a stranger had ever gotten me to come out to them.”
As he left her dressing room, Rosie promised Aiken a shield of protection. “Nobody is going to ask you about this on the show,” she said. “And if they do, just let this d-ke take care of it.”
Don’t we all wish we had a d-ke to take care of shit for us? However, Clay says that he didn’t initially appreciate her busting out with the most unnecessary outing in history. I mean…
“I didn’t see it the same way that she did,” he said. “The truth is she outed me in a way, because I had not been out yet. When she said the words, ‘If that was a straight man,’ she was confirming that she knew that I wasn’t. That was the worst day of my life. I don’t think I’d had a moment more devastating to me. I remember feeling like shit that day and totally defeated. But I definitely wasn’t mad at her.”
As for Kelly Ripa, she called into The View that day and flipped out on Rosie, claiming that the idea of her being homophobic was “downright outrageous.”
That was also a discarded title for Clay’s coming out story, btw.
In Ladies Who Punch, Rosie also says that she thinks Kelly Ripa is “mean.”
Nevertheless, Rosie allegedly called Kelly to apologize in advance for her remarks about Ripa in the book.
The most important book since The Bible comes out on Tuesday so maybe Ryan Seacrest will put his hand over Kelly Ripa’s mouth on the air this week and Rosie can guest on The View and the cycle can begin anew.