Last night, Rosie O’Donnell made her first public appearance since her ex-wife Michelle Rounds' heartbreaking suicide.
“Extra’s” Renee Bargh spoke with Rosie, who opened up about Michelle’s death at the premiere for her new Showtime series “SMILF.” She said, “Very sad, very tragic.”
Rosie revealed that Michelle, who battled mental illness, had tried to kill herself when they were married, saying,“It was not the first time There was a time in September 2015. You think love has the answer. But mental illness has no say.”
Rosie’s adopted daughter Chelsea, also suffering from mental illness, is now pregnant with her first child. O’Donnell said, “She's married now and on her own. But it was very difficult to find the help that she needed. I know for me — I suffer from major depressive disorder — in '99, after Columbine, I went on medication and I've been on it ever since. For me, it works in my life. For me, it's been a life jacket at times when I felt like swimming down, so for me, it’s something that we have to take the stigma away from.”
With questions surrounding the mental health of the Vegas shooter, Rosie emphasized the need for stricter gun laws. She commented, “Changes need to be incorporated involving the Second Amendment in terms of sensible gun control that every other nation in the free world has and it works, so I think we should follow every other nation in the free world and not take guns away from people totally.”
The 55-year-old is becoming educated about the NRA after getting involved in gun policy following Columbine and hosting the Million Mom March. She argued, “Toys are more regulated in America, women's bodies are more regulated in America."
Rosie is also a proponent of women’s rights, championing her peers in Hollywood for coming forward about alleged sexual misconduct involving movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.“Yes, it took a long time, 20 years, pretty much, for people to speak out," she said. "Harvey was very powerful in Hollywood… I know from my own friends and circumstances. The Harvey situation was not a surprise to me. I'm not one of the women that he ever would or was interested in. He did call me the 'c u next Tuesday' to my face.”
In the comedy “SMILF,” Rosie plays Tutu, who is unapologetically herself and completely oblivious to social convention as the mom of single mother Bridgette, played by Frankie Shaw. Rosie pointed out, “I’m 55, she’s 31 — I really could be her mother.”
Along with being blown away by Frankie's talent, Rosie gushed, “Somebody with her point of view, her brains, her talent, her beauty, could not only star in and write, but also direct.”