Rosie O’Donnell and Kelly Ripa’s bad blood dates back to 2006, when “American Idol” alum Clay Aiken was a guest co-host of “Live With Regis and Kelly” when Regis Philbin was out. During the episode, it appeared as though Aiken was teasing Ripa when he put his hand over her mouth. Ripa immediately pulled his hand away, looked at the audience, and then told him, “Oh that’s a no, no. I don’t know where that’s been, honey.”
Even though O’Donnell was not on the show herself, she took offense to how Ripa responded to Aiken and on the next day on “The View” she called the move “homophobic.” O’Donnell put it this way, “If that was a straight man, if that was a cute man, if that was a guy that she didn’t question his sexuality, she would’ve said a different thing.” Sherri Shepherd, one of O’Donnell’s co-hosts at the time, disagreed, saying she would want anyone’s hand in her face, but O’Donnell stood by her remark. “I guarantee, if that was Mario Lopez, she would not have said the same thing,” O’Donnell claimed.
O’Donnell’s comments made a messy situation even messier at the time, as she left Aiken caught right smack in the middle of their feud and very personal dilemma on his part.