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Rosie O'Donnell returns to The View and asks: 'Is Hasselbeck here? Just checking'

Former co-host appears on ABC daytime show for first time since stormy 2007 exit after blow-up with conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Barbara_Walters and Rosie_ODonnell
Photo: ABC

Rosie O'Donnell returned to ABC's The View on Friday and the first thing she wanted to know was this: 'Is Hasselbeck here?'

The former co-host knew, of course, that the conservative Hasselbeck had left the show lasrt year to join Fox News Channel. But she couldn't help but joke about the mother of all on-air battles that resulted in O'Donnell leaving the show and never returning.

'We had some good times, we had some bad times, but they were never boring,' co-host and executive producer Barbara Walters said as she introduced O'Donnell.

O'Donnell talked about her near-fatal heart attack in the summer of 2012 and was there to promote her recurring role on the ABC Family series The Fosters.

She also weighed in on the show's Hot Topics segment - the part of the show that O'Donnell often made headlines including a running feud with Donald Trump.

Despite whispering to Walters, 'Don't worry, I'll be good,' O'Donnell was her outspoken old self on a variety of topics including molestation allegations against Woody Allen by his and Mia Farrow's adopted daughter Dylan.

'I totally believe her. (Mia Farrow is) the best mother I’ve ever seen… I firmly believe Mia, and I firmly believe Dylan.'

She then asked Walters, who has defended the parenting of Allen: 'How did I do on that one? It could have been bad. It's my first time back. I'm afraid I'll be exiled again.'

On troubled pop star Justin Bieber she said: 'Fame is a tidal wave; it sweeps you away. I think until you’ve experienced it, you have no concept of what it is. And to be 15 years old, and to be the most famous kid in the world, there’s hardly any way to keep your head above water.'

O'Donnell also had empathy for Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman who died Sunday (2 February) of a drug overdose.

She said of drug addiction: 'It is a disease. It’s about time we stopped shaming addicts and realize that it’s a disease. In the same way that we would never yell at people who have cancer, "Oh my god, I can’t believe you have cancer, you’re so morally corrupt!"'

Walters is the only co-host remaining from O'Donnell's 2006-07 run as moderator of the show. She was succeeded by Whoopi Goldberg who is on the panel with Walters, Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd.

In addition to Hasselbeck, the other co-host from O'Donnell's era, Joy Behar, also left last summer.

So how did O'Donnell feel about being back?

'It feels kind of weird,' she said, 'but good weird.'

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