Fran Drescher defends pal Rosie O’Donnell over Priyanka Chopra gaffe

Fran Drescher knows her pal Rosie O’Donnell meant no harm with Priyanka Chopra.

“Rosie is a very dear friend of mine, and she, ah, you know, sometimes regrets something she might have done because she would never want to hurt anybody,” the “Nanny” star told Page Six exclusively at Clive Davis’ 90th birthday party Wednesday.

Drescher, 64, was dining with O’Donnell, 60, at Nobu in Malibu in February when they had an awkward encounter with Chopra and her husband, Nick Jonas.

The comedian later admitted on TikTok that she had “embarrassed” herself by mistakenly thinking the “Quantico” alum was the daughter of the self-help guru Deepak Chopra.

“She happens to be a very good woman, and she is fearless for fighting for the underdog,” Drescher told us of O’Donnell. “She has tremendous character in that regard. She goes to the mat when others wouldn’t. So yeah, you know, not knowing somebody’s name or something should be her greatest offense.”

The cringeworthy interaction had a longer shelf life because the former “View” co-host was criticized for referring to Priyanka as “the Chopra wife” in her apology.

Priyanka Chopra, seen here with Nick Jonas, criticized O’Donnell’s apology.
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The former Bollywood star, 39, was clearly miffed by the gaffe, as she posted a message on Instagram that read in part, “We ALL deserve to be respected for our unique individuality and not be referred to as ‘someone’ or ‘wife’ especially in a sincere apology.”

O’Donnell then issued a second mea culpa, this time saying, “Priyanka is her name. Priyanka. I hope I’m pronouncing that right. I just want to apologize to her and to everyone who thought that it was really inappropriate of me. Sorry, sometimes I f–k up. I did at Nobu.”

As the president of SAG-AFTRA, Drescher is admittedly “shocked” by another recent headline-making celebrity incident: Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars over a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of regret going around, and I think [it] begs a deeper look at what might have triggered Will because that’s not part of his history,” she told us. “I know him to be a very kind, sweet man, and he, unfortunately, upstaged himself. Maybe he needs to look at that and maybe it’s an opportunity. You know, sometimes the best gifts come in the ugliest packages.”

Drescher was one of the celebrities at Clive Davis’ 90th birthday party.
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Drescher, who also runs a charity called Cancer Schmancer and has helped get a bill passed in Washington, continues to be a force in Hollywood, but that was not always the case.

She shared that earlier in her career, people underestimated her.

“I’ve been very blessed to be able to express myself artistically but also politically and philanthropically and go to the mat for people who are marginalized, and all of that I’m grateful for because it’s given me a life worth living,” she said.