Former ESPN Host Sage Steele Says Barbara Walters Physically Attacked Her While Co-Hosting an Episode on ‘The View’

by Xara Aziz
YouTube via ESPN

An accusation former ESPN anchor Sage Steele made against the late Barbara Walters is being refuted by a rep of the legendary journalist.

According to Steele, Walters grilled her then backed her into a wall and trash can while elbowing her backstage on The View in 2014.

“It was Barbara, Whoopi and myself in the dark green room off to the side,” Steele said while making an appearance on The Megyn Kelly Show. “I was probably about four feet from the wall and the trash can, and Barbara was standing over here in front of me. She just started to back up toward me and looked at me and got close and elbowed me, and it pushed me back into the wall and the trash can.”

Following the clip surfacing online, Walters’ rep released a statement repudiating the claims.

“I find this impossible to believe and uncharacteristic of Barbara!” the rep told Insider.

Walters founded The View in 1997, 17 years before Steele says the alleged assault took place. She would end up retiring in 2014, the same year Steele served as a co-host. Steele further said that Walters had elbowed her following a segment discussing former President Barack Obama, adding that she was in a state of shock.

“I was like, ‘What did mmm just do to me? This 140-year-old woman just tried to like tackle me,'” she said. “Some of the producers saw it. Whoopi saw it. And Whoopi was like, ‘Come here.’ She was great. She pulled me aside in her little area and she’s like, ‘Don’t you let her do it.'”

The 50-year-old Panama native continued: “And I’m like, ‘Am I in a movie right now?’ One of the legends in this industry just tried to beat me up!”

When Insider contacted Walters’ rep for comment, the rep referred to a tweet Steele posted Friday.

“This might be the best meme I’ve seen on this yet,” she said, referring to a meme. “While reporters/outlets are using the world ‘assault’ I’ve been cracking up over this since it happened in 2014!” 

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