Earlier this week, on Theo Von and Matthew Cole Weiss’ podcast Allegedly, comedian Heather McDonald shared stories about her time working on Chelsea Handler’s Chelsea Lately. A writer for the show and a frequent roundtable guest, McDonald explained that she “lived in fear” of Handler, who she claimed was fickle and quick to anger.
“I 100% lived in fear,” said McDonald. “I enjoyed my time there, I was happy, but something could happen and my heart would be beating and I’d be like, ‘Is this it?’ And then somehow I just managed to keep surviving.” Though she clarified that she thought Handler was a “good person,” McDonald added, “I don’t agree with how she treats relationships in her life. I think she’s missing out by dumping people… When you’re in her life and you’re her friend, it’s the greatest thing. She makes you feel so special, until you’re not.”
Chelsea Handler, being Chelsea Handler, isn’t taking McDonald’s accusations lying down. On Tuesday, Handler appeared on Howard Stern’s Sirius Radio show, where she went off on McDonald for betraying her years earlier. “When I found out at work that she was trading stories to Us Weekly about my personal life in exchange for having her photograph run in the magazine — I could have fired her. I did not fire her. She had a job for four more years. I never hung out with her personally again,” said Handler. “So, I hope she was living in fear.”
“You can do so many things to me before you sell a story to a tabloid about me — or exchange it for a f*cking picture of yourself. I’d rather you sold it,” joked Handler. “At least you can make some money.” The comedian called McDonald’s bluff regarding her “living in fear” remark, as well: “She went on tour with me the last year of my show. If she’s so scared of me — she was opening for me in Northern California at a winery. She’s so full of sh*t.”
Handler added that McDonald was never compelled to stay on Handler’s show, and that McDonald’s remarks about being blindsided by Chelsea Lately‘s cancellation were unfair. “It’s not an internment camp,” said Handler. “If you’re that fearful, then get a job. And then she made a comment about me not discussing my renewal. Why the f*ck would I talk to her about what I was doing? She’s a writer on my show. She’s not my partner.”
Stern then read aloud McDonald’s quote about Handler being a “good person,” but a bad friend, and asked for Handler’s reaction. “I do end relationships when I feel like I’ve been… I do,” admitted Handler. “But I’ve never ended a relationship without letting that person know exactly what they did. And by the way, that’s one thing that she did. She did like 80 things that she should’ve been fired for. But she was good on the show, she was funny, and I thought, you know, ‘Just separate yourself from her personally.'”
McDonald has since responded to Handler’s response (…oy) on her own podcast, where, according to a summary from AdWeek, she flat-out refuted Handler’s tabloid-photo claims. “I have never exchanged stories with Us Weekly or any other publication about Chelsea Handler or any other celebrities, in exchange for them running photos of me,” said McDonald. “This never happened.”
Tune in in approximately 14 seconds for the latest on this ongoing brouhaha.