Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the former conservative cohost of The View who was fired from the show in 2013, posted a statement on Friday in response to leaked audio of a major meltdown she had about the way Barbara Walters spoke to her on the program.
“This. Just. In: I am quite humanly reactive,” Hasselbeck said in a lengthy statement on her Instagram of the incident. “I used bad words when frustrated. I was pregnant with Taylor and a big conversation about the value and the lives of the unborn took place at the View.”
In leaked audio, which Variety published in full, Hasselbeck attempts to quit the show during a commercial break because she felt she was being reprimanded by Walters for her views on an over-the-counter morning-after pill during an August 2006 taping of the show.
“I’m saying this medication should be only reserved for those special situations,” Hasselbeck says as her colleague Joy Behar interjects, “Why?”
“This is a slippery slope to just eliminating life,” Hasselbeck continued, visibly passionate about the topic.
A few moments later, Walters says, “Elisabeth, calm down, dear.”
“Everybody has strong opinions, and there are many other arguments that people could give you,” Walters said. “I think the most important thing, which is what we see today, is we’ve got to be able to have these discussions and listen to other people’s opinions and not go so crazy that you don’t listen to anybody.”
Walters’ comments about going about the discussion in a “rational way” bothered Hasselbeck so much that she could be seen ripping up her note cards on the set — and then all hell broke loose with the recently surfaced audio of what went on behind the scenes after the tense moment.
“Fuck that! I’m not going to sit there and get reprimanded on air,” Hasselbeck says while Behar tries to mitigate the situation. “What the fuck? I’m not going back out there. I am not going back out there.”
“This woman is driving me nuts,” she says of Walters before storming off, adding, “Goodbye! I’m off! Write about that in the New York fucking Post!”
Speaking about the issue on Friday, Hasselbeck said it was hard for her to deal with the moment because she was pregnant at the time.
“In the heat of the moment, when I felt the need to protect what I knew to be truth and had seen with my own eyes on ultrasound the LIFE in my own shell of a body- I used big battle words,” Hasselbeck said, referring to her profane language.
The former View cohost says that she has been changed by God and can now “hold the hand of the person who does not agree” while staying true to her “constitutionally protected rights to freedom of faith.”
At the end of the clip, Walters and Hasselbeck hug. “We respect your opinions and I love your passion,” Walters said.
Details of the exchange appear in the new book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of "The View" by Variety's Ramin Setoodeh.
Watch the complete clip below: