Elisabeth Hasselbeck says she sobbed after learning her contract wouldn’t be renewed for “The View.”
Elisabeth Hasselbeck is likely wanting you to take a little time to enjoy her view in her new book out Tuesday.
The one-time shoe designer turned “Survivor” competitor turned talk-show host revisits her trying days on “The View” and her firing, as well as anecdotes about her former co-hosts in her latest literary effort, “Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith, and Freedom” (WaterBrook, pp. 224). Hasselbeck, who has celiac disease, previously penned “The G-Free Diet” and “Deliciously G-Free.”
Hasselbeck, 41, holds nothing back when recounting her dismissal from ABC’s morning program, which she joined in 2003. She writes that in March 2013 things “had begun to feel unusual,” citing a number of guest hosts trickling through.
Hasselbeck writes that she was visited in her office one day by the producer of “The View” and an ABC exec who informed her that her contract would not be renewed and who explained they were “going in a less political direction.” Hasselbeck was a conservative voice on the show and was rocked by the news.
“I could not breathe — literally, could not breathe,” she shared, revealing she “asked permission” to retrieve her inhaler. “I was bent over — shock, asthma and betrayal all stealing my wind.”
She said she expressed appreciation for her time on the show and asked “Why?”
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Elisabeth Hasselbeck has written a new book, “Point of View.” (Photo: Wiff Harmer Photography)
“‘Was there something I could have done differently?'” she asked. “‘Can I do something differently now? If you would just tell me, I would work on that — and make it better … I kept asking, trying to figure out how to get it back, trying to get it all back.”
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Hasselbeck writes that she was told there wasn’t anything she could’ve done. Still, in the moment, she grappled with the news. “‘I have come here and had babies and shared my heart,'” she told the two men. “‘I have done my work, and I just don’t understand. Why did you not tell me there was something I could have done better, so I could have done that?’ Blank stares met those anguished words.”
According to Hasselbeck, she spent approximately 90 minutes “just sobbing.” “Feeling a dose of betrayal and a whopper of confusion, I felt like the walls of the building were folding in on me.”
Six years later, Hasselbeck writes she was invited to return to the program as a co-host, which she turned down, explaining God gave her “the freedom to let go” of that opportunity.
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Elisabeth Hasselbeck with her former “View” co-host Barbara Walters in 2010. (Photo: Eileen Blass/USA TODAY)
In addition to that terrible day, Hasselbeck recounts moments of her friendships with her former “View” co-hosts.
Per Hasselbeck, the legendary journalist “fought to get approved” a six-week maternity leave every time Hasselbeck had one of her three children.
Walters was also in her corner when she was reaching out to Roger Ailes, the former chairman and CEO of Fox News, about job opportunities. The former “20/20” host wrote Ailes, a gesture that “meant the world” to Hasselbeck, who hosted “Fox & Friends” immediately following her time on “The View,” from 2013 to 2015.
Hasselbeck has love for the comedian, who recently made her return after battling pneumonia and sepsis. Though the author admits she and Goldberg began “on the wrong foot,” she says the two are “forever friends.”
“Whoopi and I each think the other one is downright crazy when it comes to our stance on any given issue,” writes Hasselbeck. “And we love each other for who the other is instead of hating each other for what we each stand for.”
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Actress Vanessa Redgrave, center, with Whoopi Goldberg, far left, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck for an episode of “The View,” which aired May 14, 2010. (Photo: Steve Fenn/ABC)
Hasselbeck makes reference to a February 2018 social media post shared after Behar mocked Vice President Mike Pence.
The controversy began in mid-February, when the hosts reacted to a scene on CBS’ “Celebrity Big Brother” in which former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman said Pence “thinks Jesus tells him to say things.”
At the time, Behar remarked, “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness.”
“Using the spatula of humility would have come in handy when I originally began talking to my ‘View’ cohosts about Jesus,” Hasselbeck says in “Point of View.” “But I was using a rigid tool of pride instead.”
She says she and her former colleague had a “Godversation,” which she defines as “a conversation minus condemnation when talking about God.”
In her Instagram post, Hasselbeck reflected on her past conversations with Behar.
“For 10 years she and I debated, and reacting in those situations perhaps I could have offered a more tender witness to this awesome God- instead many times- I reacted,” she wrote. “Did I always show grace…sometimes not. And sometimes I felt the need to stand firm and be bold… For now, I pray to always be able to have grace filled #Godversations like this…”
Behar apologized for her comments last March.
Representatives for Hasselbeck did not immediately respond to an inquiry from USA TODAY as to why O’Donnell wasn’t mentioned in the new book. O’Donnell co-hosted “The View” with Hasselbeck from 2006-2007 and often sparred with Hasselbeck over politics.
The day prior to the release of “Point of View,” another book about the talk show, “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View,’ ” made headlines as it revealed O’Donnell “loved” Hasselbeck. In the work from Variety’s New York Bureau Chief, Ramin Setoodeh, shared with the outlet, O’Donnell said she wanted to educate her colleague.
“Here’s what I said, ‘I’m the senior. She’s the freshman. I’ve got a really good player on the freshman team, but I have to teach her how to loosen up,’ ” O’Donnell said, according to Variety.
O’Donnell also said in “Ladies Who Punch” she had “a little bit of a crush,” on Hasselbeck. “But not that I wanted to kiss her. I wanted to support, raise, elevate her, like she was the freshman star shortstop and I was the captain of the team.”
Contributing: Jayme Deerwester
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