Rosie O’Donnell’s 17-year-old daughter found after she went missing for a week

Rosie O'Donnell

Yesterday saw a potential tragedy in the making, but luckily, it all worked out okay. Rosie O’Donnell revealed that her 17-year-old daughter, Chelsea Belle O’Donnell, had been missing for over a week. The background of the story is somewhat confusing, as Radar reports that Chelsea had been communicating with her biological mother in the weeks leading up to her disappearance. Rosie and the bio mother reportedly didn’t get along, and the bio mom reportedly accused Rosie of stealing Chelsea many years ago. It’s unknown if Chelsea’s alleged connection to her biological mother has anything to do with her leaving home. It’s all such a mess, but here’s Rosie’s frantic blog posting from yesterday:

Rosie O’Donnell’s 17 year old daughter, Chelsea O’Donnell was reported missing. Nyack, New York police authorities have been looking for her in the Rockland County area since Sunday, August 16. She was last seen Tuesday, August 11. She was wearing a black sweatshirt hoodie, dark ripped blue jeans, women’s grey converse sneakers and a black backpack. Chelsea has a large tattoo on her right side of a dream catcher with the word ‘Breathe.’ She left home with her 6 month old therapy dog named Bear. The dog is a 9 lbs brown and black terrier. Chelsea stopped taking her medicine and is in need of medical attention….


Truly terrifying. I’m including a photo of Chelsea below, and fortunately I don’t need to post it right here because Chelsea has surfaced! This is the best possible outcome of the whole story, and Rosie must be so relieved. Chelsea was reportedly off her medication, and it sounds like she left on purpose. It’s unclear whether Rosie’s public announcement brought Chelsea back or if someone found her. All that matters is that Chelsea is safe and back with her mom. Here’s the happy followup.

Chelsea O'Donnell

Rosie O'Donnell

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet, WENN &

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73 Responses to “Rosie O’Donnell’s 17-year-old daughter found after she went missing for a week”

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  1. SypherMomma says:

    Thank goodness she was found safe.

    • denisemich says:

      I hope she is okay. I read a report that said she was found on Jersey shore with a man

    • Dinah says:

      It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Trump forced her to make a pro-Trump campaign commercial. Happy she is safe and well.

      • Vampi says:

        I know Trump is national fodder now, (and rightly so)… but, IMO, this issue is not a place for political jokes. Especially when dealing with a family that is struggling with mental issues. Time and place and all that. (not trying to be mean, but I have seen far too many Rosie/Trump jokes referring to Chelsea during this painful time for all involved and it hurts my heart. Imagine if Chelsea read your “joke” 🙁

  2. Barrett says:

    Thank god. I feel bad, Rosie herself has mental health issues, had a heart attack, is going through divorce/custody issues, and has other kids w issues. For all her money, her life is still rough.

    • Patricia says:

      I believe the majority of the difficulty in her life is of her own making at this point. It’s a shame she’s dragging children along with her ridiculous, ongoing drama. It’s got to be a highly stressful environment living with her.

      • Esmom says:

        I’m not a fan of Rosie all all really, but this is why the stigma around mental health issues and treatment remains. It’s extremely ignorant to claim that mental health problems are someone’s “own making.”

      • Patricia says:

        Esmom that’s not what I intended to imply, and maybe should have been more specific. I have nothing but compassion for her mental health issues.
        What bothers me is the endless relationship drama, public arguments, and general high drama lifestyle that does not seem healthy for children.
        If you are a parent and have mental health issues it’s important to get the help you need to stay healthy. Instead Rosie seems to let her emotions take the lead and there is an endless array of stories about her drama. She needed to settle down and focus on her kids (instead of feuds and whirlwind relationships) a long time ago.

      • Esmom says:

        Patricia, I appreciate the clarification. I don’t know enough about Rosie to know about her family drama. But I do agree that it’s really important for a parent to take care of their own health if they want to be the best parent they can be.

      • ol cranky says:

        I”m pretty sure that most of Rosie’s children were adopted out of the foster care system and came from troubled situations that probably included bio parents with mental health and/or drug issues, and/or had other special needs. I’m not sure one can blame all of the daughter’s mental health issues completely on the drama of being the child of a public figure, divorce, alcoholism (though those certainly wouldn’t help the situation). Also people need to understand that when adopted children are reunited/have a relationship with their biological parents it is not always a positive experience like that shown in lifetime movies.

    • Gea says:

      Well said, Barrett. I am glade the kid is found safe and sound.

  3. MrsBPitt says:

    I’m so happy she was found. Sounds like a runaway situation…scary! I wonder what it’s like having Rosie for a Mom? I read somewhere (?) that her oldest, Parker, doesn’t speak to her. I liked Rosie on her talk show, but as rumors surfaced of what a tyrant she was, and then seeing her on the view, you could tell, there were two sides to Rosie….and one was not so nice! I wonder what kind of parent she is?

    • Heather says:

      I’ve always wondered how she treats her children as well because of all the allegations over the years from ex employees, ex partners etc. it’s sad.

    • kcarp says:

      Ya I heard she was a nightmare in real life too. I also heard the same thing about Ellen which I hate to believe I love Ellen.

    • holly hobby says:

      Really? I thought her eldest son and her were on good terms. I remember there was a picture of when she sent him off to West Point. But knowing her personality on the View, I wouldn’t be surprised if she is unbearable at home.

  4. Norman Bates' Mother says:

    When i first read about it, it reminded me of Misty Upham’s (the actress’ from August: Osage County) disappearance from last October – as in both cases there was a mention of health problems and not taking medication. Thankfully Chelsea was found alive and safe. It must have been such an awful time for Rosie and her family. I can’t even imagine.

    • Esmom says:

      I know. As the parent of a teen who is doing well thanks to anti-depressants it’s one of my worst fears to imagine him one day not keeping up with them and then losing touch. So scary.

  5. Belle Epoch says:

    The birth mother is kicking up a HUGE fuss with lots of allegations against Rosie. The birth mother was unhappily married, age 20, using heroin, and had a criminal record when she legally gave up her daughter for adoption. These stories of birth mothers showing up years later are so painful. There’s also the question of whether she’s now looking for money because Rosie is famous.

    “The biological mother of O’Donnell’s 17-year-old adopted daughter, Chelsea, has unmasked herself to the world to sensationally claim she was drugged up by her then-husband on heroin and forced to give up their child.”

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      It is sad, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she was after money. I’m glad the daughter is safe.

    • Daria Morgendorffer says:

      @Belle Epoch, I read about this yesterday as well. The birth mother claims her child was “stolen” from her. Sounds like a bit of a loon to me. Like you said, I think it’s an attempt to get money even if it’s only money to shut her up.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      Best wishes to Chelsea and I hope she has all the love and support she needs to lead a happy, peaceful life.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      My first thought was honestly not “She might be after some money.” but “Okay, she was clearly incapable of caring for a child but was she even capable of making the decision to give her up???” Adoption can be a wonderful thing but I often wonder if the situation that makes someone give up their child isn’t precisely what could also be considered a reason for them not being able to make that decision. She might be after Rosie’s money (although I’m not sure how she plans to get some) but she might also just be going through some personal stuff. In public. Which is not great for anyone involved.

      • MrsBPitt says:

        littlemissnaughty…I understand what you are saying, but if she was incapable of making this decision, and more importantly, incapable of taking care of her baby, then what should happen….Chelsea obviously could not stay with her mother. Put her in foster care?? I think, in these situations, the best interest of the child needs to be put above the mothers. And, in this situation, the best solution for a baby, born to an addicted mother, who couldn’t care for her child, was adoption.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        I didn’t mean that there needs to be another way to handle these situations because really, there isn’t. I was thinking more about the “She might just want money.” part of the issue because why is that among the first things that come to mind? I’m no exception but I think it’s sad that we all go there so quickly. When clearly, there are countless other reasons why a mother who gave her child up for adoption might be “upset”, for lack of a better word.

      • Belle Epoch says:

        Actually the birth mother brought up the money issue herself by saying “I don’t want her money.” It looks like she didn’t wait for someone else to bring up the subject first. It’s a little like those people who say “I’m definitely not gay” when no one asked! So why are you talking about it?

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        You have a good point, but one reason I go there so quickly, and I can only speak for myself, is that she’s an addict. I was married to an alcoholic and this is classic. Her baby is taken from her because of her behavior, or she gave up her baby because she was more into drugs than babies, or realized she couldn’t handle it. Does she take responsibility for that, or try to prove she has overcome her addiction, or admit that she was personally involved in the decision in any way? No. Her husband “forced” her to take heroin. “Forced” her to give up her child. Nothing is her fault. She is a victim. So what does she want now? Probably money.

      • Belle Epoch says:

        Oh GNAT I am really sorry to hear that. My mother was a drunk – same thing. Always the victim, never the problem. I hope things are better for you now!

      • Vampi says:

        @GNAT- I can relate and my heart goes out to you. My mom had 3 small children when she married my dad and then got pregnant with me. She divorced him when I was only 3 years old, because he was an abusive alcoholic. He spanked my mom in front of my brothers and sister…over his knee like a child… because she dared to spend money on a tube of lipstick without asking him first. My oldest btother, then 13, stood up to him and my dad put his head through the wall. Literally. She left him and divorced him after that, and he never even tried to contact me (and I had been searching for him from age 12 on)
        Fast forward… I was contacted by Grossmont Hospital in CA when I was 25 because they needed next of kin to authorise surgery. He had no one, apparently, but me. He was dying of tongue and throat cancer. So, when I was 25 with a family of my own, I flew to California to “meet” him and say hello/goodbye. He couldn’t talk at all because he had no tongue after surgery. I walked in the hospital room and he looked at me like, “who are you?” because of course he would not know what I looked like. I just said, “Hi daddy, it’s me, *my name*”…and the tears just started pouring out of his eyes. I could *feel* his pain, and regret. I can never understand why he was the way he was, or why he never kept in contact with me. He was able to write a bit on paper, and wrote… “I’ve always loved you. I’m so sorry *name*.”
        I said “I love you dad, it’s ok”…but it wasn’t, and we both knew it.
        I had to fly back to La Jolla a montth later when he died, to sign papers and and take custody of his ashes.
        Life. So crazy. So much thrown at us when we are too young to understand.
        Sorry for the long post….I just….I dunno….felt I needed to share. Alcohol is a life destroyer and my only sister died at 42 from her liver giving out from alcohol abuse, and she had a different father. *sigh*

  6. Nancy says:

    I was so bummed yesterday when I heard about this. So glad she was found….for once maybe social media actually did something to help. Prayers up

  7. Aussie girl says:

    Glad she and her dog where both found safe. There us nothing worse than having a family member that is ill and not taking their medication disappear.

  8. cannibell says:

    It’s a terribly rough go having a child with a brain disorder. Hoping Chelsea is able to figure out how to manage her situation and thrive, and that Rosie is able to co-parent with her ex well enough to make that as easy as possible for their daughter.

  9. lucy2 says:

    Really glad she was found safe. That had to be a very scary situation for all involved. Hopefully the family and her doctors can help her with whatever is going on.
    She was actually found near where I live, our local news outlets were reporting it last night, and I’ll be curious to see if we find out why she was there.

  10. Jazz says:

    Thank goodness she was found safe.

  11. Snappyfish says:

    Glad the child was found safe & unharmed. The time frame was odd to me. Last seen on the 11th but not reported until the 17th. Especially since there is a health issue. However intimate details should remain private & they can release what they feel best. Hope she is ok & drama is kept to a minimum.

    Is it just me or does Rosie have a creepy faux smile

    • Kiddo says:

      It may have been reported earlier to LE, but released publicly later?

    • Triple Cardinal says:

      Who knows at this point? There may be a history of Chelsea being out of touch while staying stable. This time she was out of touch and off her meds.

      I don’t recall hearing of her diagnosis. Anybody know?

    • lucy2 says:

      I got the impression that they were dealing with it quietly with the police, and went public when they couldn’t find her, sort of as a last result.

      • Neah23 says:

        New information just came out that Rosie was pleading with Chelsea for 5 days to come home before calling the cops and apparently she left 20 year old man. I readily glad that she was found safe.

      • Vampi says:

        Yep. It seems Rosie did have contact with her for close to a week after she left. My *assumption* is that Chelsea got tired of Rosie not listening to an almost adult (or pleas to come home or whatever)and just said “fug it” and quit replying to her texts or calls. Then Rosie got all butthurt and put her…almost a legal adult… kid’s personal business out there and made the situation so much worse, that the poor child HAD to reveal herself because of the way her mom was…..belatedly…pleading and wringing her hands on the internet. So….once her child got tired of whatever, Rosie screamed “MISSING FOR A WEEK” even though she had been in contact with her during that week.
        I get that the teen may need meds, and that can be critical….but if it was SO important to Rosie, why no alarm raised publicly immeadiately if that was her TRUE concern. You shady Rosie. YOU need help too. Smh.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I’m glad she was found safe but Rosie really needs to do a better job parenting especially if her daughter has mental issues. I have heard so many stories that Rosie has an anger problem and an alcohol problem. Plus she’s probably so focused on her custody battle with her ex that she’s ignoring the other kids.

    This shows that just because you get adopted by a rich woman doesn’t mean it leads to a happy life. Chelsea will probably write a “Mommie Dearest” book someday.

    • H says:

      Apparently the daughter is very close to her ex-stepmother, Kelli Carpenter (Rosie’s first wife). Perhaps the solution is for Chelsea to live with her.

      • Brittney B says:

        Kelli is actually her adoptive mother too. I’ve heard Rosie shipped her off to boarding school at a young age, and she now spends most of her time with Kelli and Kelli’s current wife.

      • cubfan34 says:

        Rosie said Parker and Chelsea chose to go to boarding school.

  13. Talie says:

    Sounds like she was in contact with her, but then Chelsea cut off contact, so she had to do what she had to do. Scary stuff. She’s got a lot on her plate.

  14. I never comment but.... says:

    If Chelsea ran away about a week ago, I wonder if it had anything to do with the Foster’s episode airing where the estranged daughter of Rosie’s character is off her meds and giving Rosie a hard time. It may have been too close to home for Chelsea.

  15. NGBoston says:

    Rosie herself is Bi-Polar, and has been very public in the past about her struggle with Depression. Not certain at all about her “having problems” with alchohol, but at this point in her life with all the medication she would be required to be on, it would be highly unlikely.

    If anything, O’Donnell should continue to use her voice and be more of an advocate for those struggling with personal and family Mental Health Issues.

    I also do not think she chose wisely with her last spouse. Kelli Carpenter was a lovely Woman, and it is a shame that Rosie’s personal issues at the time seemed to have drove them apart.

    Perhaps O’Donnell should focus more on getting her children now the help they need instead of continually feeding the need to keep finding a suitable partner and bring more infants in to the home. IMOO, this woman has a good heart and desperately just wants to give and receive LOVE.

  16. sirsnarksalot says:

    I’m sorry but something doesn’t feel right about this whole story. She’s 17 and it sounds more like she ran off to the shore with some friends and wasn’t returning Mom’s phone calls. Mom then sends out an APB over Twitter and in the process outs her as having mental issues and needing medicine….kinda harsh, no?

    I am really wanting to get the daughter’s side of this. Especially since the frantic Twitter search wasn’t launched until days after she left/ran away…

  17. Kath says:

    I’ve never understood how seemingly easily Rosie was able to adopt a bunch of kids given her anger issues, chaotic relationships and general instability. She seems like she would be a nightmare to live with, let alone have as a parent.

    • Kiddo says:

      What I found uncomfortable about this was, all over the local NYC news, it kept being stressed that she has mental illness. Even after she was found, Rosie released some kind of statement about it being hard having a child with mental illness and how she didn’t take her meds. How about, ‘We’re grateful she has been found’? I could see if this was an important detail when she went missing, as it could impact her return or locating her. But after the fact, it felt like, I don’t know, too much blame on the mental illness, or I have suffered because of her mental illness and such. Which is probably legit, but still felt more woe is me, it’s about me, or something.

      • Kath says:

        I agree. At an age when privacy is paramount in dealing with these things – and it is usually in the mid-late teens that mental illness manifests itself, at a time when kids are trying to deal with hormones and changing brain chemistry, while trying to form an identity and a sense of belonging – I find it kind of repulsive that Rosie has made it all about her and her ‘struggle’. Ugh.

      • Neah23 says:

        Maybe it’s a way to deflect any blame. Like she didn’t runaway because of problems at home, she runaway because she was off her medication and I can’t be blamed for that.

      • Kiddo says:

        I know, but that’s wrong on so many levels. If she isn’t a danger to society, why disclose something personal, that the kid may or may not want disclosed? I mean, teens sometimes run off, without being mentally ill. Rebellion and whatnot.

      • Esmom says:

        Oh don’t even get me started. I am sort of plugged into various factions of the autism community and there’s definitely a segment of parents who seem to focus on how hard it is to have a kid with autism and co-morbid conditions more than the child’s well-being or even identity as a human. It really, really grates on me. Not to mention that sharing so much on social media seems really unseemly. Rant over.

      • lucy2 says:

        That’s a good point about her medical issues being aired publicly. I thought maybe they did it to convey the urgency of the situation, but still, it does seem invasive.

    • FingerBinger says:

      @Kath Rosie’s life wasn’t this chaotic 17 years ago. She still had her tv show. She was in a stable relationship. The last several years we’ve seen her in a different light.

  18. I Choose Me says:

    Glad she was found safe. I’m hoping the dog was found safe as well.

    • Kath says:

      Ditto. The therapy dog is only a puppy, so I hope he’s ok.

      Why do they never tell us these things??

      • Cricket says:

        I read she had the puppy with her and it’s safe as well. I’m a bit shocked given the child is under 18 that they would publicly disclose her medical condition.

        I’m curious if all the Donald Trump crap that resurfaced again during that debate didn’t set Rosie off and cause Chelsea to take off.

    • jc126 says:

      The dog was found safe, I read.

  19. Amy M. says:

    Happy Chelsea was found alive and well. I wonder if Rosie is so insistent on the fact her daughter has mental illness is because she doesn’t want people to think that Chelsea was simply running away from her? I’m sure there are many issues factoring into this but I’ve always wondered what having Rosie as a mom would be like.

    From anectodal evidence I have she was awful to work for and a mean boss. My aunt briefly worked for her in the 80s and has always mentioned Rosie was not as nice as she seemed on TV (back in the days of her talk show).

  20. prissa says:

    @Snappyfish – it’s not just you her “smile” creeps me out. It’s like a mixture of a sneer and a grimace. Surely she knows that is NOT a smile. Idk what happened because in her younger days as a stand up comic, she had a nice natural smile.

  21. Vampi says:

    My opinion means nothing, I know, because I don’t know the woman….but….I’ve always had the feeling that this woman has far too many issues to raise a child healthily. She never should have adopted anyone. Parker doesn’t speak to her, now this?…not to mention her ex says she has an alcohol problem. I’ve also seen some of her video “rants” on her personal site, and she scares me. I would not want her to be my mom. No way, no how.

  22. Wonderin' says:

    Does anyone remember when Rosie had her radio show and she constantly was mentioning letting this kid have whatever she wanted? Chelsea didn’t feel like going to school, well OK, why force her, what’s the difference, well surprise! here’s the difference. Chelsea’s genes may predispose her to have a more difficult time with frustration tolerance or impulse control, but it sounds as though Rosie did little to strengthen those coping mechanisms. Instead she threw a pity-party for her and now she carries the ball as “the child with the mental illness who everything is hard for.” Behind every statement is a demand and kids hear it, even if there parents never say it.