On Aug. 18, a grateful and relieved — but still visibly shaken — Rosie O’Donnell addressed the media gathered outside of her estate in Nyack, N.Y.
It was clear that the 53-year-old comedienne and former talk show host had been through the wringer as she delivered the news that her daughter Chelsea, 17, had finally been recovered after vanishing without a trace for a week.
Rosie and her daughter Chelsea. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
“Seven days she’s been gone, and she’s very mentally ill,” said Rosie of the teen, who was ultimately found by authorities hiding out in the New Jersey home of Steve Sheerer, a 25-year-old ex-convict.
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“It has not been easy, for any mother of a child with mental illness, or all the siblings.” Rosie and her then-wife, Kelli Carpenter, 48, first adopted Chelsea into an ever-growing brood — including Parker, 20 — in 1997. (Rosie has two other children — son Blake, 15, and daughter Vivienne, 12, with Kelli — as well as daughter Dakota, 2, whom she adopted with her second wife, Michelle Rounds, 43.)
1-2-3-4-5 - how many is 5 !!! #53isME A photo posted by Rosie ODonnell (@rosie) on Mar 21, 2015 at 4:29pm PDT
1-2-3-4-5 - how many is 5 !!! #53isME
A photo posted by Rosie ODonnell (@rosie) on Mar 21, 2015 at 4:29pm PDT
“Rosie loves all of her kids, but because Chelsea has special needs, she’s always watched out for her a little bit more,” an insider tells Closer, noting that Chelsea suffers from severe depression and anxiety.
“Rosie’s really had to be that tough-love parent — you can’t let your child stray from their medication routine, or the results are troubling, even dangerous.”
To read the full story on Rosie, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!
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