Rosie O’Donnell has issued an apology to Melania Trump after retweeting a controversial video (which has since been removed by the person who created it) suggesting that her son with President-Elect Donald Trump is autistic.
On Thursday, O’Donnell tweeted a public apology to the future First Lady. “I apologize to @MELANIATRUMP – i was insensitive in my RT,” O’Donnell tweeted. “I am sorry for the pain I caused – it was not my intent – I am truly sorry.”
In a blog post O’Donnell posted on her website following her video tweet, she explained that she thinks President-elect Donald Trump’s young son Barron displays several behaviours consistent with autism. Trump has never publicly discussed whether or not Barron is autistic.
As O’Donnell revealed, her three-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with high-functioning autism (HFA), and she’s been “immersed in that world/reality since
learning – reading – asking questions… it’s all autism – all the time for the newly diagnosed.”
As for why she retweeted that video, she explained: “When I saw the anti-bullying video that mentioned Barron it spoke to the symptoms many ASD kids have. It was educational and informational.”
Noting that she has “no ill will for his children – or any children,” O’Donnell ended her letter on a political note. “Peace out,” she wrote, “as we try to save democracy from this madman who thinks OUR country is his.”
One in 55 children diagnosed with autism, she wrote, “is an epidemic. Donald and I agree on that and not much else. I feel he is a clear and present danger but this autism subject – had nothing to do with Donald, though I admit he does trigger me in all ways.”
According to TMZ, the tweet prompted Melania to take legal action against the YouTuber who posted the video.
The future First Lady of America hired lawyer Charles Harder, whose letter to the user claimed the family would sue if he didn’t take it down. The letter also made mention of O’Donnell’s tweet, however, it did not directly threaten the television star.
“This law firm represents First Lady-elect Melania Trump and her 10-year-old son, Barron Trump,” reads the attorney’s letter. “A video was posted on YouTube recently speculating that Barron might be autistic. He is not.”
Adds Harder: “The video includes the hashtag ‘StopTheBullying’ but yet the video itself is bullying by making false statements and speculation about a 10-year-old boy for the purpose of harassing him and his parents. The online bullying of children, including Barron Trump, should end now.”
The YouTuber has since taken down the offensive video and, like O’Donnell, issued an apology to the Trumps.