Barbara Walters was the queen of provocative questions — and apparently an even harder-hitting elbow.
Sage Steele, the former ESPN anchor who recently left the sports network after settling a lawsuit, claimed that she had a run-in with the late Barbara Walters backstage at “The View” in 2014.
“It was Barbara, Whoopi [Goldberg], and myself in the dark green room off to the side,” Steele recalled on Thursday’s episode of “The Megyn Kelly Show.”
“I was probably about four feet from the wall and the trash can, and Barbara was standing over here in front of me. She just started to back up toward me and looked at me and got close and elbowed me, and it pushed me back into the wall and the trash can,” alleged Steele, 50, of the news icon, who died in December 2022 at age 93.
“I was like, ‘What did [she] just do to me? This 140-year-old woman just tried to, like, tackle me.’
“Some of the producers saw it. Whoopi saw it,” Steele continued. “And Whoopi was like, ‘Come here.’ She was great. She pulled me aside in her little area and she’s like, ‘Don’t you let her do it.’ And I’m like, ‘Am I in a movie right now? One of the legends in this industry just tried to beat me up!’ ”
When contacted by The Post, a representative for Walters’ estate said in a statement: “I find this impossible to believe and uncharacteristic of Barbara!”
The Post also has contacted reps for Steele, Goldberg and “The View” for comment.
In 2021, Steele spoke on the “Uncut with Jay Cutler” podcast about an appearance on “The View” when she said Walters “ripped me on live TV and then afterwards” on why it was “so important” for her to identify as biracial when former President Barack Obama identified only as a black man.
Steele called the way Obama identified “fascinating, considering his black dad was nowhere to be found.”
The podcast appearance, in which Steele also discussed being forced to get the COVID-19 vaccination and controversial takes on how women dress, resulted in ESPN yanking her off the air.
Steele then filed a lawsuit against ESPN and its parent company, Disney, claiming the network retaliated against her after the interview by taking away high-profile assignments and further claiming they violated her right to free speech.
On Tuesday, Steele announced she had settled her lawsuit against ESPN and was leaving the company.
“Having successfully settled my case with ESPN/Disney, I have decided to leave so I can exercise my first amendment rights more freely,” Steele wrote in a statement. “I am grateful for so many wonderful experiences over the past 16 years and am excited for my next chapter!”
Walters died at her home last year after reportedly suffering from advanced dementia.
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