Rosie O’Donnell’s 17-year-old daughter, who had been missing since August 11 after apparently running away from home, was found safe on Thursday.
Chelsea O’Donnell had last been seen in Nyack, New York. Rosie O’Donnell tweeted that Chelsea was found at about 6:30 p.m., a few hours after she first released information about her daughter’s disappearance.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rosie O’Donnell Said Her Daughter Was Off Her Meds & Traveling With a Therapy Dog
According to a statement on Rosie O’Donnell’s official website, her daughter stopped taking her medication and is need of medical attention. The search began for her in Rockland County, New York, on August 15. She was believed to be with her therapy dog, Bear, who is 6 months old. Chelsea has a large tattoo of a dream catcher on her right side with the word “Breathe” written on it. NBC New York reports that the teenager may be in New York City.
A tweet from O’Donnell’s account on August 18 at 1:23 a.m. showed a picture of Chelsea with the caption “dude was asking for u today … dude #urFAMILY #call.” ABC New York reports that Chelsea O’Donnell has not yet been officially classified as a missing person.
2. Chelsea O’Donnell Suffers From a ‘Mental Illness’
A representative for Rosie O’Donnell told TMZ that the comedian’s daughter’s condition is mental. That rep said, “Chelsea, like millions of people, lives with mental illness. It has been a difficult road for Chelsea and her family and they just want her back safe.” On the “Ask Rosie” section of the comedian’s website, at 2:08 a.m. on August 17, the day before the star went public with her daughter’s disappearance, someone wrote “How’s Chelsea?” Rosie responded, “Stunning.”
Page Six reported in October 2014 that Rosie “grilled” President Obama at a New York fundraiser about the lack of mental healthcare to children in America. She later revealed on the October 8 episode of The View that she had to cut short her conversation with the president to attend a therapy session with Chelsea O’Donnell.
3. Chelsea O’Donnell’s Birthmother Deanna Micoley Says the Girl Is Unhappy Living With Rosie
Back in March 2015, Rosie O’Donnell was accused of stealing Chelsea from a woman named Deanna Micoley, reported Radar Online. In an interview, Micoley said Rosie O’Donnell knew that Micoley, then 20, was in an unfit state to look after Chelsea. Micoley admits to having a criminal record and being on drugs at the time. She adds that her husband told her to give her daughter up for adoption.
In November 2014, Chelsea O’Donnell reconnected with her birthmother, according to the National Enquirer. The Enquirer added that Chelsea O’Donnell told Micoley that she was “unhappy” living with Rosie. In response, O’Donnell’s rep, Cindy Berger told Radar Online that Chelsea O’Donnell had been legally adopted from the Children of the World in New Jersey. The rep adding that Rosie O’Donnell was “unbearably proud” of her daughter. On the Ask Ro section of her website, on August 18, the day Rosie went public with her daughter’s disappearance, the comedian answered a fan who talked about the problems of adopted children and their fascination with their birthparents.
4. Rosie O’Donnell Had Previously Been Worried About Losing Custody of Chelsea & Her Siblings
Chelsea O’Donnell is the child of Rosie and her ex Kelli Carpenter. The couple had three children together, Chelsea being the oldest. The others are Blake, 13, and Vivienne, 12. Both Blake and Chelsea O’Donnell are adopted whereas Vivienne O’Donnell was born to Carpenter via artificial insemination. Rosie O’Donnell has another, older child, Parker, who is 19, and was adopted as an infant. He attended Valley Forge Military Academy, after begging his mother to send him, according to People Magazine.
In January 2013, Rosie had her youngest daughter, Dakota, after adopting her with then-girlfriend Michelle Rounds. After Kelli Carpenter and Rosie O’Donnell split up in 2009, the National Enquirer reported that Rosie was scared of losing custody of her children due to her mental state. People Magazine reported in February 2010 that Blake O’Donnell suffered from an auditory processing disorder.
5. Chelsea O’Donnell’s Friend Carolyn Lindsay Ran Away From Home in August 2014
Back in October 2014, Rosie O’Donnell used her position of promenance on The View to appeal for missing Connecticut teens Carolyn Lindsay and Sam Foley to return home. The Connecticut Post reported that the young couple finally came home in January 2015. Rosie became aware of the case thanks to her daughter, Chelsea’s, friendship with Lindsay. The case was also mentioned on national TV by Nancy Grace.