The comic joined co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Jenny McCarthy, Sherri Shepherd and Barbara Walters on the couch, marking the first time she appeared on the talk show since moderating Season 10. Asked how it feels to be back, O'Donnell admitted, "It feels kind of weird. It does. But good weird."
O'Donnell's early departure in 2007 came after months of on-air battles with conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck. During Friday's episode, O'Donnell joked, "Is Hasselbeck here? Just checking."
Alas, the Fox & Friends co-host didn't make a surprise appearance during the pre-taped interview.
O'Donnell gave her former colleagues an update on married life with Michelle Rounds and shared her five children's latest milestones. Asked what she does daily, she joked, "I watch The View." The Emmy winner later admitted that she "sometimes" misses having a TV platform, but added that she doesn't miss causing controversy. "People can be very mean online. They've never been mean in person."
For old times' sake, the 51-year-old joined the four co-hosts in discussing the day's Hot Topics. In regard to Dylan Farrow's recent claims that Woody Allen sexually abused her as a child, O'Donnell said, "I totally believe her." She continued, "I am very good friends with Mia Farrow—like, very close. I've seen her as a mother, and she's the best mother I've ever seen." In spite of Dylan's brother Moses' claims that Mia poisoned her daughter against the filmmaker, O'Donnell said, "If you read the custody decision by the prosecutor, you will understand that there was cause to prosecute, but they thought it would be too traumatic for the 7-year-old child, and he was not given any custody of those children. I firmly believe Dylan and I believe Mia...but you can never really know what goes on in a house."
O'Donnell also weighed in on Justin Bieber's bad boy antics, showing sympathy for the teen pop star.
"Here's the thing: fame is tidal wave. It sweeps you away. I think that until you've experienced it you have no concept of what it is," she said in defense of the 19-year-old singer. "And to be 15 years and to be the most famous kid in the world, there's hardly any way to keep your head about the water."
O'Donnell argued that Bieber's parents need to intervene sooner than later. "Do I think that he needs parental supervision in a way he's not getting? I most certainly do. When everyone's around you on your payroll, it's a very difficult thing," she argued. "When you're a parent and you're living off the financial success of your child, you have a tremendous responsibility that goes beyond fiduciary."
She noted that other teen stars have managed to stay out of trouble. "Look at Jodie Foster! She's hugely successful [with] an Academy Award. Look at her!" O'Donnell pointed out. "Fantastic career."
The native New Yorker also spoke up about Philip Seymour Hoffman's tragic death. "It's about time we stop shaming addicts and we understand that it's a disease, in the same way we would never yell at someone with cancer and say, 'Oh, my god! You have cancer! I can't believe you! You're so morally corrupt.' We shouldn't do that to drug addicts," The Fosters guest star said. "I understand it's a hard concept for people who don't have any addictive nature."