Former ESPN host Sage Steele claims late broadcast journalist Barbara Walters pushed her backstage The view.
The veteran sports reporter appeared on a recent episode of The Megyn Kelly Show where she accused The view creator of attacking her after a segment about former US President Barack Obama, while also discussing her controversial departure from ESPN. During the conversation, Steele stated that there were other witnesses to the alleged physical altercation caused by Walters, who was both the creator, co-host and producer of the show for over 15 years and died in 2022.
“It was Barbara, Whoopi (Goldberg) and myself in the dark green side room,” Steele recalled during the podcast episode, which was released Thursday. “I was probably about four feet from the wall and the trash can, and Barbara was right here in front of me.”
Steele then describes Walters’ movements, saying she “started walking back towards me and looked at me and came closer and elbowed me”. She added that the physical contact “pushed me back into the wall and the trash can,” leaving Steele to wonder what Walters had just done.
“This 140-year-old woman was just trying to tackle me,” continued the former SportsCenter co-host. “Some producers saw it. Whoopi saw it. And Whoopi was like, ‘Come here.’ She was great. She pulled me aside in her little space and she said, “Don’t let her do it.” And I’m like, ‘Am I in a movie right now?’ One of the legends in this industry just tried to beat me up!”
In a statement, a representative for Walters’ estate said The Hollywood Reporter“This is impossible to believe and unusual for Barbara!”
THR has contacted representatives Whoopi Goldberg and The view.
Steele too discussed her recent departure from the network just days after she settled a lawsuit against ESPN alleging that the company retaliated against her and infringed on her right to free speech after she made controversial statements about the COVID vaccine requirement and, separately, questioned Obama’s race while appearing on the “Uncut with Jay Cutler” podcast in 2021.
Steele shared that despite leaving ESPN, she “loved” her over two years at SportsCenter, calling her former producers and co-host Matt Barrie “the best team.” But said that “there were different rules for me than everyone else” who shared their personal views on the network or other platforms.
Steele settled the lawsuit with ESPN, it was announced Tuesday, saying in a statement posted to X/Twitter: “After successfully settling my case with ESPN/Disney, I have decided to leave so that I can more freely exercise my first amendment rights. I am grateful for so many great experiences over the past 16 years and look forward to my next chapter!”
5:15 PM Updated with statement of Barbara Walters estate.