01/14/2012 12:40 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Rosie O'Donnell Recalls Hollywood's 'Secret Lesbian Parties' (VIDEO)

Rosie O'Donnell paid a visit to Andy Cohen on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" and reminisced about a time not that long ago when both she and Ellen DeGeneres were still in the closet.

Cohen takes us down memory with a clip from Rosie's old daytime talk show, where she asks her guest, a young Ellen DeGeneres, what is going to happen on her sitcom this season.

"We do find out that the character is Lebanese," Ellen told Rosie. "There have been clues, you see her eating baba ghanoush."

To which Rosie replies, "Maybe I'm Lebanese. I could be Lebanese myself."

Cohen pointed out that at the time, it was basically the closest either of them had come to publicly coming out, and wanted to know if fans understood their little game of word play.

"I didn't want [Ellen] to be out there alone, and we were friendly at the time ... She had called me and told me she was going to have her character come out," she explained. "I said to her, let's play it, lets walk the line ... and she said OK. And I think gay people got it, but straight people did not."

Though Rosie and Ellen haven't seen each other in a while, Rosie revealed that years ago they would run into each other all the time at underground parties for Hollywood's lesbians.

"When we were young there were lots of kind of big, secret lesbian parties when nobody was out. It would be like Melissa Etheridge would throw a party and K.D. [Lang] would be there, and I would be there, and Ellen would be there," she told Cohen adding that actress Kristy McNichol, who recently came out was not in attendance.

"But you know who would be there, was Sarah Gilbert and I was totally flipped out because she was like 19 at the time. And I would say to Ellen, 'Get her out of here, it's illegal,' -- not that there were like naked women and sex toys everywhere. But we were sort of a little bit more of a clique when we were younger."

Rosie says now that they are old older, they have their own lives and don't see each other as much. "[Ellen] is in LA, she's very funny. She's a nice person, she's happily married. She's done so much for gay people, I admire her," she said of DeGeneres.