Star Jones Says She’s Through Talking

Jun 30, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Star Jones Reynolds said she has given her last interview on the subject of her self-propelled exit from “The View.”

She said it to Al Roker on “Today,” which upended its lineup Friday first to accommodate her late arrival (delayed in traffic) and then to make room for three segments of the interview instead of one (a home run for Mr. Roker).

Ms. Jones Reynolds said “no more” after a red-eye flight from Los Angeles, where she talked for an hour on CNN’s “Larry King Live” Thursday night about the mechanics and emotions and pretenses that led her to break from script and announce two days early that her contract had not been renewed and she was leaving the show.

She talked about feeling hurt but shied away from saying she felt betrayed, as “The View” creator and host Barbara Walters described herself after Ms. Jones Reynolds sprang her announcement during Tuesday’s “hot topics” segment.

Ms. Jones Reynolds conceded to both Mr. King and Mr. Roker she had abused her celebrity status in planning her freebie-filled wedding to Al Reynolds in 2004 .

But two words Ms. Jones Reynolds did not say were “gastric bypass,” which has been suspected though not acknowledged as the method by which she quickly lost more than 150 pounds.

Ms. Jones Reynolds referred Mr. King to her book, “Shine,” “where I specifically say that because of my health I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t walk. Talking was difficult. That I needed a full-scale medical intervention and that my doctors had to step in and save my life. I’ve said it in writing. I’ve said it in person. I said it to you.”

“You’re saying you always said there was surgery?” Mr. King pressed. “So where was the impression given that you did this on a diet?”

“I have no idea why anybody would suggest that that’s the statement that I’ve made,” said Ms. Jones Reynolds, who in fact did numerous segments on “The View” about her new exercise and diet and portion control habits. “I actually have always said it was a medical intervention. Always,” she said.

“That means surgery right?” Mr. King prodded.

“What else could it mean?” Ms. Jones Reynolds said.

When Mr. Roker, who shared his gastric bypass with viewers, addressed the question of her dramatic weight loss on “Today” Friday morning, Ms. Jones Reynolds again referred to what happened as “medical intervention” but this time she conceded that Mr. Roker had been “holding my hand, recommending my doctors, standing by me throughout every single health crisis that I’ve had. And you and I both know that I’ve talked about this very openly to everyone who is close in my life.”

But in the moment sure to have sent a chill through the tabloid and late-night comedy writers who have had a field day with this juicy summer soap opera, Ms. Jones Reynolds said, “Today is the last day I’m going to discuss this. I’ve made some mistakes. I have grown. I am moving to the next part of my life and my career.”

On Friday afternoon, ABC Daytime President Brian Frons issued the following statement:

“This has been one of many changes that have been made over the years with our hosts. The decision to end our working relationship with Star was a difficult one and made with great thought. The network and the show’s producers attempted to be compassionate towards Star in the timing and handling of this announcement. It is never our practice to initiate public discussions about private business matters, but given what happened on-air Tuesday, and in learning of the People magazine interview, we felt we had to. It has been a difficult week for everyone but we don’t want any of that to take away from the fact that we greatly value Star’s contributions to the show over many years. She is a talented, professional woman, and we wish her the best going forward.”