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Oprah's Warning To Rosie Before OWN Show

10/02/2010 12:32 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Oprah said in an interview that she gave a warning to Rosie O'Donnell before moving ahead with Rosie's show on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

In an interview with FORTUNE's Pattie Sellers, Oprah said she visited Rosie in June along with Tom Freston and OWN execs Christina Norman and Lisa Erspamer.

"Rosie said, 'I know you're here to assess how crazy I am.' I said, 'Basically, yes. I'm doing a crazy check,'" Oprah said.

Sellers writes that Oprah "warned" the controversial host that "she had better behave on OWN."

"If you have an issue that's causing a problem, speak to me, woman to woman, so that it doesn't become a worldwide issue," Oprah recalls telling Rosie.

Oprah, who described Rosie as "so generous as a mother," said she's not worried that Rosie will alienate viewers:

Isn't Oprah worried that Rosie will be too brash and polarizing on OWN? "No, it doesn't worry me," Oprah replies. Does she think about it? "Of course," she says, crisply.

Rosie had a complicated relationship with her last TV mother figure, Barbara Walters.

"We had our ups and downs," Walters has said, "but I have enormous affection for Rosie, and I think she's a great talent."

"I do love [Barbara], and that's the bottom line: love is complicated," Rosie has said.

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