Just two days after ABC yanked her show off the air in response to a racist tweet about former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, Roseanne Barr on Thursday called in for a podcast interview with New Jersey-based Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a longtime friend and spiritual advisor (yes, Barr is Jewish).
According to two knowledgeable sources, Barr, who has been holed up in her home in Utah since the scandal broke Tuesday, offered an emotional and rambling mea culpa for her tweet describing Jarrett as the offspring of the “Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes.” At various moments, sources say, Barr even lapsed into tears.
“She was sobbing and very apologetic about the whole thing,” says one source.
Despite a regular barrage of tweets since her firing, Barr has not given an in-depth interview on the subject. She canceled a planned appearance on comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast that was set for Friday. “She’s not doing well and doesn’t want to travel, and she’s gone radio silent on me, so I’m just going to step away,” Rogan said.
Boteach, 51, who has been friends with Barr for 20 years, is one of the most famous — and controversial (he’s a Trump supporter) — rabbis in America. He has been well-connected in Hollywood since before the 2000 publication of his best-selling relationship guide Kosher Sex, was once Michael Jackson’s rabbi (although Jackson wasn’t Jewish) and in 2006 had his own reality show on the TLC Channel, Shalom in the Home.
On Saturday evening, Boteach tweeted about the interview: “I did record a podcast with my friend @therealroseanne & I have decided not to release it out of respect for Roseanne. I want to give her space to reflect on the recent events and releasing the recording is a decision she will make at the appropriate time.”
He continued in another tweet, “I have known @therealroseanne for 20 years. She has apologized for what she acknowledges is a violation of Torah values & in the spirit of Jewish repentance. It is time America learned to forgive so that we may together affirm the image of God, and equal dignity of all humankind.”