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Patti Blagojevich tells Rosie O'Donnell her husband is innocent

Patti Blagojevich listens as her husband former Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks to reporters at the federal building in Chicago, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, for his sentencing hearing for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on 18 corruption counts, including trying to auction off President Barack Obama's old Senate seat. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Former first lady of Illinois Patti Blagojevich chats with talk-show host Rosie O’Donnell about preparing her children for their father’s imprisonment and her steadfast belief that the disgraced former governor is innocent, in an interview to be aired Wednesday on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Billed as an “exclusive one-on-one interview,” O’Donnell reduces Patti Blagojevich to tears when she urges the family to “get all of those feelings out” before former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is locked up.

“I can’t fathom what you’re going through as a mother,” O’Donnell tells Blagojevich.

O’Donnell asks Blagojevich if she believes her husband is innocent of all charges.

“I’m positive,” she says, adding, “I was there, and I’ve heard all the conversations. I know his heart. So much of this case was intent – what was his intent? And I know his heart.”

Blagojevich also recalled when the FBI came to the family’s Ravenswood Manor home to arrest Rod Blagojevich. “They called, and I thought it was a joke,” she said. “It was like, ‘We’re the FBI. We’re downstairs. Open the door. We have a warrant for your husband’s arrest.’”

Blagojevich is to report to federal prison in Littleton, Colo., by March 15. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison in December.

Stefano Esposito