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OTRC: Barbara Walters: 'No plans' for Elisabeth Hasselbeck to leave 'The View' (Video)

Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Barbara Walters, Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck appear in a 2012 publicity photo for the ABC show 'The View.' (ABC / Donna Svennevik)

Barbara Walters took the opportunity on "The View" on Monday, March 11, to address reports that claimed Elisabeth Hasselbeck was leaving the show at the end of the season.

"There is a particularly false story that keeps getting picked up about Elisabeth's alleged departure saying that we don't approve of her conservative views," Walters said during the broadcast before the show's "Hot Topics" segment. Video of Walters' comments can be seen below.

"The truth is we love Elisabeth. I like her personally and she's just a wonderful person, but beyond that, we value and appreciate her point of view," Walters added. "It's important to us because Elisabeth helps give the show perspective and balance and believe me, she's tougher than she looks. She'd have to sit here for a decade and take the kind of guff we give her."

"So we have no plans for Elisabeth to leave the show," Walters said.

In a previous statement about the matter, a spokesperson for ABC said, "Elisabeth Hasselbeck is a valued member of 'The View' and has a long-term contract."

The news outlets Us Weekly, TV Newser, Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter reported that Hasselbeck would not be back for season 17 in the fall. Each publication cited its own sources.

The news came a day after it was confirmed that Joy Behar, one of the show's original co-hosts, was leaving the show after 16 years. Behar addressed her departure in a light-hearted way on Monday's show with jokes.

"Sixteen years I was married also, so I don't like my jobs to last longer than my marriage," Behar joked.

"The View" debuted in 1997 with four co-hosts - Walters, Star Jones, Meredith Vieira and Debbie Matenopoulos, who was axed two years later. The panel changed throughout the years.

Viera left in 2006 and joined NBC's "Today" show. Jones departed the same year after ABC opted not to renew her contract, following market research that showed that her dramatic weight loss and 2004 wedding to banker Al Reynolds had turned viewers off. She announced her exit on an episode of "The View," two days before the network had planned to confirm her departure to viewers.

Hasselbeck joined "The View" in 2003. Comedienne Sherri Shepherd was added to the panel in 2005 and Whoopi Goldberg, the current fifth co-host, was brought on in 2007.

Check out Behar talking about leaving "The View" and Walters' comments on Hasselbeck below.

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