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Rosie O’Donnell Blasts Backlash Following Burning Man Rescue at Ricki Lake


Rosie O’Donnell has reacted to suggestions from social media users that her friend Ricki Lake was quickly saved from the Burning Man festival because she was a celebrity.

The annual gathering draws nearly 80,000 people to the Nevada desert to dance, create art and enjoy being part of a self-sufficient temporary community. This year’s event kicked off on August 27 and was scheduled to run until September 4.

However, tens of thousands of people were left stranded after storm-triggered floods swept across the desert, turning it into a sea of ​​sticky mud. After a death was reported, organizers closed the festival to vehicles and ordered attendees to shelter in place.

More than half an inch of rain fell Friday night, organizers said, with more rain Saturday and Sunday. Festival-goers had been asked to stay in their camps and save food and water.

Rosie O’Donnell (left) on February 19, 2023 in Pasadena, California. Ricki Lake (right), March 31, 2022, in New York. O’Donnell defended Lake against criticism over his recent Burning Man save.
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images;/John Lamparski/Getty Images

As the news unfolded, O’Donnell shared a video on TikTok in which she expressed her concerns about fellow actress and former talk show host Lake, who had traveled to the festival with her husband, Ross Burningham.

“Do any of you guys have any friends in Burning Man? ‘Cause wow, it looks like a crazy town there,” O’Donnell said in his video. “Ricki Lake, my good friend, is here, and her husband, Ross. I know they rented an RV, but I’m worried about them. And then I keep texting obsessively and compulsive because I have a little OCD. And I know I’m just worried, you know. I worry a lot, I must say.

In a later update, O’Donnell announced that Lake and her husband had been rescued from the chaos and were on their way home.

“Just heard from Ricki Lake,” O’Donnell said in the seconds-long clip. “She and her husband are fine. A guy with a big truck let them get in the truck and they’re going home. So Ricki Lake is saved from Burning Man.”

While O’Donnell seemed thrilled to share the news, a number of other TikTok users suggested that Lake’s early rescue was made possible by his celebrity status.

“I’m so glad the famous was saved but everyone is stuck!” one social media user joked in response to O’Donnell’s clip.

By responding, the A league apart The star shot back that Lake and her husband were rescued by “a random nice stranger, (who had) no idea it was Ricki Lake.”

In a separate comment, O’Donnell said Lake and Burningham “walked through the mud and were offered a ride when a lorry saw them (and) pulled up – no one knew she was famous”.

While other TikTok users expressed surprise that Lake was at the Burning Man festival, O’Donnell said her friend was a “veteran” attendee. The comedian also expressed his best wishes to those who said they have friends and relatives stuck in the Nevada desert.

For her part, Lake shared footage of her and her husband enjoying the festivities at Burning Man, while promising to return.

“It was crazy. It was dusty. It was muddy. It was magical and we will be back,” said the hair spray The star captioned a photo carousel on Instagram.

On another collection of images taken before the heavy rains, Lake described Burning Man as “the greatest place on earth. It was wild. It was magical. It was tough. And I can’t wait to get there. back. Turns out Ross is a burner! He loved it.”

News week contacted a Lake rep via email for comment.

Meanwhile, comedian Chris Rock joined music producer Diplo on a mile-long hike out of the main festival area after rains left attendees stranded. The stars were eventually taken by a fan in the back of his van.

Diplo, named Thomas Wesley Pentz, documented the experience on his social media. He then traveled to Washington, DC for a scheduled show.

Victoria’s Secret model Kelly Gale and her fiancé suicide squad actor Joel Kinneman, also got stuck at the festival.

Gale wrote in an Instagram Stories post at the time that she was “staying safe.” She called this year’s Burning Man festival “interesting.”


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