WINDERMERE — Rosie O’Donnell has surprised everyone with the revelation that her ex-wife, Michelle Rounds, had married again and had another child. Rounds committed suicide on Friday via an as-yet-unknown method.
“I am saddened to hear about this terrible tragedy,” O’Donnell said in her statement. “Mental illness is a very serious issue affecting many families. My thoughts and prayers go out to Michelle’s family, her wife Krista [Monteleone] and their child.”
The 46-year-old Rounds, who split with O’Donnell in 2014, had since dropped off the celebrity radar. It turns out that she married Monteleone last December and the newlyweds were living in Windermere where they were raising their daughter.
Previously, Rounds was raising a daughter with O’Donnell—Dakota, age 4, whom she and O’Donnell adopted in 2013, shortly after their marriage. Several people suggested to O’Donnell via social media that by keeping Dakota from Rounds, the comedienne had contributed to the suicide.
“She gave up her custodial rights,” O’Donnell responded, referring to a chapter in the former spouses’ bitter court proceedings in 2015, which were largely centered on the custody matter.
Also of note: Dakota actually has spent time with Rounds since the divorce, with O’Donnell’s approval.
Nonetheless, it seems that Rosie may have been a trigger for the departed Rounds.
This was her second suicide attempt; the first took place shortly after her split with O’Donnell and involved the mixing of wine and pills in her hotel room. It also occurred only a week after photos emerged showing O’Donnell and her then-love-interest Tatum O’Neal living it up at the latter’s mansion in West Palm Beach.
A source close to Rounds confirmed that she pined for O’Donnell and was jealous of the relationship with O’Neal.
“Basically, Michelle is deeply in love with Rosie and wants her back. She hopes it can still happen,” the source said at the time. “It hasn’t been an easy time for Michelle with Rosie stepping out with her new girlfriend and losing custody of Dakota to her.”
O’Donnell took particular pains to give Rounds access to Dakota after the first suicide attempt.
While Rounds may have taken the separation from O’Donnell hard at the time, it’s now clear that she was, in fact, able to move on and start a new life. Sadly, it also seems that she was unable to find peace with life all the same.