Rosie: "I Feel For Mom Who Killed Her Kids."

John A. Quayle blueoval at SGI.NET
Mon Aug 13 14:07:22 MDT 2001


August 10, 2001 --

ROSIE O'Donnell gave an anguished interview to "Good Morning America"
yesterday - saying the Columbine tragedy nearly pushed her over the edge.

O'Donnell also said she has "overwhelming empathy" for Andrea Yates, the
depressive Texas mother who confessed to drowning her five children.

"When I read about people who thought about killing themselves, or when I
read about someone suffering from severe depression, I do not in any way
condone their actions," O'Donnell told Diane Sawyer.

"But Andrea Yates, you know - and I'm not equating . . . my depression to
hers - but I have to tell you, for a brief second, instead of rage and
anger, I felt such overwhelming empathy for her of what it must have been
like for her to do that . . . .

"When you've been on the edge you can understand what it's like to go over."

O'Donnell, 39, went public about her depression in her magazine, Rosie,
last week.

But her appearance yesterday on "GMA" - where she seemed at times on the
verge of tears - was an extraordinarily dramatic turn, even for the
bigger-than-life talk-show host.

O'Donnell said she had been in therapy since her 20s and had refused for at
least 10 years to take the medication her psychiatrists had been prescribing.

She said the 1999 Columbine tragedy, in which two teenage gunmen mowed down
13 students at their Colorado high school, was her lowest point.

"Everything that happened to me when it started to get really bad - which
was right around the time of Columbine -felt like it was happening to me
personally . . . like all the children in the world were in danger."

O'Donnell says she finally caved in and began anti-depressant medication
when she realized her outspokenness on gun control - including a public
dustup with NRA supporter Tom Selleck - began affecting her son, Parker.

"My son crawled into the bedroom and said, 'You want to watch "Rugrats,"
Mommy? There's no guns in it.' Because he knew I was so upset about guns,
he was 3 or 4 but he knew," O'Donnell said.

"I saw this scared little boy, and I thought, 'I want his childhood to be
different than mine,' " she said.

"I don't want him to grow up with the darkness that lived in our house
[growing up], and I made the decision to start taking the medication that I
had been prescribed."

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