Heather McDonald: Chelsea Handler Counters Comedian's Claim That She 'Lived in Fear' Working With Handler

Pam WrightLife

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Heather McDonald heard a few choice words from Chelsea Handler after she said she "100 percent lived in fear" during her years working on Handler's late-night E! talk show Chelsea Lately.

During an appearance on the Allegedly podcast Tuesday, McDonald, 45, said that even though Handler is a "good person," she doesn't approve of "how she treats relationships in her life."

"I lived in fear, 100 percent lived in fear," she said. "I enjoyed my time there, I was happy, but I mean something would happen and my heart would be beating and I would be like, 'Is this it?' – you know? And then somehow I just managed to keep surviving."

Handler fired back during an interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM radio show Tuesday, saying she cut McDonald out of her life years ago when she realized McDonald was selling stories about her to a celebrity gossip magazine in exchange for her photograph appearing in print.

"I could have fired her. I did not fire her. She had a job for four more years. I never hung out with her personally again. So I hope she was living in fear," said Handler. "It's not an internment camp. If you're living in that much fear, go get another job."

Handler said she continued to employ McDonald even after the alleged betrayal came to light. She noted that McDonald was good at her job as a writer on the show. However, from the moment she learned what McDonald was reportedly up to, she stopped having a personal relationship with the comedian.

"I just thought it was a betrayal … I wasn't paranoid, I just withdrew from that whole social scene – I withdrew from her," Chelsea Handler said. "I wouldn't hang out with her, I wouldn't be alone with her. You know, she's somebody who would love to hear about Jennifer Aniston's house on the weekend. I could never, ever share my personal life with her again."

Pam Wright