Comedienne ROSIE O'DONNELL had to be calmed down by Malcolm X's daughter ATALLAH SHABAZZ after her gay cruise was met with opposition by anti-homosexual protestors.

The A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN star and her 'wife' KELLI CARPENTER O'DONNELL sponsored a Caribbean cruise for gay and lesbian families last year (05), which was filmed for a HBO documentary and will be screened at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on Tuesday (24JAN06).

O'Donnell admits she wanted to lash out when the cruise was met by two anti-gay church groups in the capital of the Bahamas, Nassau.

She tells the New York Post, "Malcolm X's daughter Atallah Shabazz was on the cruise, and she knows me well enough that in the face of such adversity, my response is usually to punch back, so she offered to represent us and that calmed me down.

"Kelli said, 'All they want is a sound bite of you screaming and then they get international attention. That doesn't help anyone.'

"It was hard to explain to my kids, (the protesters) don't want us to go on vacation, they don't want us to be a family. They don't want gay people to be at all."