O'Donnell not only gave Simpson a break, but also encouragement, the source told People. "Rosie went backstage afterwards and said, 'You're gonna be a star.'"
"The Rosie O'Donnell Show" aired in syndication from 1996 to 2002.
O'Donnell begins her new assignment on ABC's "The View," replacing former co-host Meredith Vieira, Sept. 5.
Vieira is replacing Katie Couric on NBC's "Today" show.
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