Two days after Roseanne Barr torpedoed her show — and her TV career — with a racist tweet about former President Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, she called into a friend's podcast to give her first post-scandal interview when she was in the throes of regret.
Now, weeks later, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has released the emotional audio from their May 31 conversation, which he initially chose not to air, reports The Blast, the first outlet to acquire the audio.
"I'm a lot of things. I'm a loudmouth and all that stuff, but I'm not stupid, for God's sake, and I never would have wittingly called a black person… say they are a monkey. I never would do that! And I didn't do that," Roseanne tells her friend of more than 20 years through tears.
The controversial tweet she posted in the middle of the night that led ABC to cancel "Roseanne" read, "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj." Roseanne, who quickly took the tweet down and apologized, later claimed she didn't know Valerie was black and blamed the tweet on her use of the sleep aid Ambien.
"I am so sorry that I was so unclear and stupid. I'm very sorry but I don't think that, I never would do that," Roseanne insisted in the interview with the rabbi.
"I've lost everything. And I regretted it before I lost everything and I said to God, 'I am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings because I know I've done wrong.' I'm willing to accept what the consequences are. And, I do. And I have," she explained.
The Blast reports that Rabbi Boteach chose not to release the interview at the time it was recorded "out of respect for Roseanne." But on June 23, he revealed the whole thing would be shared on June 24, tweeting, "My interview with my friend @therealroseanne Roseanne Barr, her first since the controversy, where she speaks movingly and powerfully about Torah, Repentance, Jewish Values, and Taking Responsibility for one's errors," along with a link to the 35-minute Soundcloud audio.
According to Rabbi Boteach, "The podcast is an emotional discussion of the 4 stages of Jewish penance and Roseanne shows moral courage & heart in accepting responsibility," he tweeted. He also describes her as an "ardent student of Torah" and explained that in their chat, "she discusses, with emotion & heart, her commitment to Jewish values & penance after the recent controversy. It's not easy taking responsibility. She shows real moral courage."
Days earlier on June 21, ABC confirmed that it had ordered a 10-episode "Roseanne" spinoff, "The Conners," that would air in the fall. The move came after Roseanne reached an agreement with the network and signed off on the new sitcom, which will star John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman. Under the terms, she will not have creative input into the new show or benefit from it financially. "I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from 'Roseanne.' I agreed to the settlement in order that 200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved, and I wish the best for everyone involved," she said in a statement.
Famed writer-director Judd Apatow, a former colleague of Roseanne's, recently told Vanity Fair that he believes she could have been struggling with her renewed success following her sitcom's spring reboot, which then led to her offensive behavior. "I think you have a person who's in a moment of success and maybe that's uncomfortable for her, and whatever urges she has to be rebellious have overtaken her in some way," he said. "I haven't spoken to her recently to know where her head's at generally, but I see it more as someone who's crying out for help than someone who's a hateful person… for the most part, I hope she's okay and I feel bad for people who got hurt in that. Everyone who worked with her, it's tragic."