Whoopi Goldberg has come out swinging against the Sydney Morning Herald columnist who was accused of threatening to expose Rebel Wilson’s relationship.

The Aussie actress revealed that she is in a relationship with fashion designer Ramona Agruma on Instagram by sharing a smiling selfie.

However, behind those wide smiles was something more sinister – a deadline of exposing her relationship before she was even ready.

Andrew Hornery, the journalist who penned the piece about Rebel’s relationship, was called out for his “threatening email” which gave the actress a deadline.

This has not sat well with many, with the news reaching as far as the US and now renowned Hollywood actress Whoopi Goldberg, has weighed in.

“There’s a lot of speculation that (Wilson came out) to get ahead of a tabloid story in the Sydney Morning Herald about her relationship. Now, the man who wrote it even apologised, saying it was ‘never his intention to “out” her’ … Well, you know that’s not true, because if it wasn’t your intention you wouldn’t have done it,” Whoopi said on The View alongside other panelists.

“If you didn’t want to do it, you shouldn’t have done it – you knew exactly what you were doing.

“It seems these are the only moves people have to get in front of a story before it’s all over social media or every other media … and there’s got to be a better way to do it.”

Co-host Sara Haines joined in the argument by saying that Andrew Hornery is also a gay man himself expecting to have some “empathy”.

“It’s sad that (celebrities) are even in this situation, where they need to release stories they aren’t ready to talk about,” she said.

“But I think that’s a better way to own the narrative, I wouldn’t give a quote or talk to a place that’s forcing me to talk about something I’m not ready to talk about.”

Whoopi said that what “people want to know” should be thrown away when it comes to people’s private relationships.

“I don’t care what people ‘want to know’, frankly,” she continued.

“I want to keep my privacy, and the fact that people constantly say, ‘oh well, if you don’t tell us, we’re going to tell it however we want to’ – I now say, ‘go ahead!’

“They’re not going to stop because you told them the truth, they don’t care. It’s insane.”

Hornery came out and apologised for the article which has since been replaced with the apology.

He explained how the situation unfolded and didn’t realise how bad it was after news broke about his deadline which was taken as a threat by many.

“At 9.27am last Thursday I wrote: ‘Good morning. I am a journalist from The Sydney Morning Herald and I was hoping I could get a comment from Rebel regarding her new relationship,” Hornery said.

“While I realise Rebel’s partner has not been mentioned as yet, I have several sources who have confirmed their status and I have enough detail to publish.

“However, in the interests of transparency and fairness, before publishing I am reaching out to Rebel to see if she will engage in what I believe is a happy and unexpected news story for her, especially given the recent Pride celebrations.

“My deadline is Friday, 1pm Sydney-time. Regards, Andrew Hornery.”

He said that he received no reply from Rebel which was “entirely her right” and reiterated that his email was not intended as a threat.

“My email was never intended to be a threat but to make it clear I was sufficiently confident with my information and to open a conversation,” he continued.

“It is not the Herald’s business to ‘out’ people and that is not what we set out to do. But I understand why my email has been seen as a threat. The framing of it was a mistake.

“The Herald and I will approach things differently from now on to make sure we always take into consideration the extra layer of complexities people face when it comes to their sexuality.”

Sydney Morning Herald editor Bevan Shields also came in defence of his employee by saying that the same process would have happened had Rebel been with a man.

“Our weekly Private Sydney celebrity column last week asked Wilson if she wished to comment about her new partner. We would have asked the same questions had Wilson’s new partner been a man,” he wrote.

“To say that the Herald ‘outed’ Wilson is wrong.

“Like other mastheads do every day, we simply asked questions and as standard practice included a deadline for a response.”

Shields’ response however was also slammed by fellow panelist Sunny Hostin who said that they “knew it was wrong” after pulling the story down.

“When his editor came out and said, ‘no, no, we would have done this with anyone, we would have done this if she was dating a man, there’s nothing wrong with it’ … Then a day later, they pulled the column, so they knew it was wrong,” she said.

“You have to understand, kids that come out to their families, there’s a lot of suicides that happen, they generally get a 50 per cent negative reaction when they come out. these are stats that you can easily look up. I’m just really surprised that a journalist would do this, it’s horrible.”

Images: Instagram/Twitter

This article first appeared on OverSixty.