Comedian Rosie O’Donnell apologized to future First Lady Melania Trump for sharing a video via Twitter that suggested that 10-year-old Barron Trump could be autistic.
“I apologize to @MELANIATRUMP – i was insensitive in my RT – i am sorry for the pain i caused – it was not my intent – i am truly sorry -,” O’Donnell tweeted Thursday.
The 54-year-old comedian shared the video with her 900,000 Twitter followers on November 21, writing “Barron Trump Autistic? If so – what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic.”
The controversial video was originally posted to YouTube on November 11 by a user named James Hunter.
Hunter, who claims he himself is autistic and only intended his video to stop bullying, apologized to Melania Trump after O’Donnell’s tweet caused his video to go viral — stirring massive amounts of outrage online.
In a letter from Melania Trump’s attorney, Charles J. Harder, the former model said Hunter’s video actually made the bullying of her son worse, thanks largely to O’Donnell’s promotion of it.
“The video allegedly seeks to ‘stop the bullying’ of Barron Trump. Not true,” the letter reads, according to TMZ. “The video did instigate further bullying by Rosie O’Donnell and others.”
Hunter, for his part, took the video off of YouTube on Tuesday and posted a video apology to the Trump family.
“t was incredibly irresponsible of me to diagnose Barron Trump using a selection of misleading videos,” he said in a statement. “My video was originally intended as an anti-bullying video, as I myself suffer from autism and wanted to educate people. Unfortunately, I completely misdiagnosed a person and ended up making a video that was false, defamatory and malicious.”
“I retract every single statement I made in that horrendous video, and want to sincerely apologize to the Trump family, especially to Melania and Barron Trump,” he added. “I wish your family nothing but good luck, safety, and love, as you prepare to become the next First Family of the United States.”
In a personal note posted to her website Saturday, O’Donnell admits that her three-year-old daughter Dakota was diagnosed in September with high functioning autism.