NEW YORK - Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Donald Trump, says he was moved to tears after he received a letter from talk show host Rosie O'Donnell while he was in prison.
Speaking on his new podcast Monday, Cohen said he received a "beautiful" six-page note from O'Donnell - a longtime adversary of Trump - last December during his stay at the Federal Correctional Institution near Otisville in upstate New York.
"I'm not ashamed to admit that I sobbed when I read it, and so did others that were reading it with me," said Cohen during the first episode of his "Mea Culpa" podcast.
"Here was a woman who I had helped attack and vilify on behalf of Donald J. Trump, and she reached out to me full of kindness and empathy," Cohen, 54, continued.
In late 2018, Cohen was sentenced to three years behind bars after pleading guilty to campaign and financial offenses. He is currently serving the remainder of his sentence at his home in New York.
O'Donnell was the first guest on his new podcast. The former co-host of "The View" said she was always interested in learning more about Cohen when he worked for Trump because the attorney seemed familiar to her.
"You sound like everybody I went to high school with," O'Donnell said on the podcast. "You look like all the people I grew up with on Long Island."
Cohen hasn't worked for Trump since 2018 and has been outspoken against the president, including comparing him to a "cult leader" during a recent interview with NBC's Lester Holt. Cohen recently released a tell-all book, "Disloyal: A Memoir," that includes his experiences working for Trump.
He said on his podcast that he thought his "life was over" when he went to prison, and that the support he received from O'Donnell made a big impact on him.
"That letter was a turning point for me," Cohen said during the 64-minute episode. "In Rosie, I saw a better way forward. A way to change, and a way to grow as a human being."
O'Donnell, 58, also visited Cohen while he was in prison.
Cohen got an early release from prison in May due to concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. He was briefly taken back in July, but was released again after a federal judge ruled he had been returned in retaliation for declining to agree not to release his book while serving.
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