Star Jones Goes On The Defense
Star Jones made the obligatory appearance on CNN's Larry King Live show Thursday night to explain that she decided to announce her departure from ABC's The View on Tuesday because executives of the show had already leaked the news to the press. She claimed that stacks of tabloids with word of her dismissal had piled outside her house "to the point where I couldn't even go outside and walk my dog." She said that on Tuesday morning she consulted her pastor. "We prayed, and I said Tuesday I'm going to tell what's going on, and I did." Jones maintained that she was told last April that she could leave on her own terms. "Actually the said, 'You can make up a story,' and, you know the audience didn't deserve me making up a story. That's not fair." Jones further denied ABC's claims that she had sold photographs of her wedding to Al Reynolds to People magazine or that she ever implied that her dramatic weight loss was the result of diet and exercise. Meanwhile, speculation has mounted that the dismissal of Jones could backfire. Writers have pointed out that The View producer Barbara Walters told the New York Times in April that "if Star wants to continue to be [on the show] she is welcome," after she selected Rosie O'Donnell, who had publicly attacked Jones, to replace Meredith Vieira. Walters has acknowledged that at the time she was aware that Jones's contract would not be renewed. Furthermore, when Jones made her surprise announcement on Tuesday, Walters remarked on the air, "Oh, how long are you going to be with us?" "This was not one of Barbara Walters' finest moments," Syracuse University's media commentator Robert Thompson told today's (Friday) Los Angeles Times. "The one person who can stabilize the equation is the one person who has done more harm than good." As of today, Jones is still featured on The View's website, complete with a picture of her before her weight loss, and despite the fact that she has been married for two years, the statement, "Ms. Jones is single and resides in New York City and East Hampton." On Thursday, One Life to Live costar Renée Elise Goldsberry substituted for Jones.