Star Jones Addresses Claim That Her Co-Stars on The View Leaked Gastric Bypass Surgery News


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Star Jones is clarifying a piece of information she allegedly told Ramin Setoodeh, the author of a new book called Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of “The View.”

Setoodeh claimed during Wednesday night’s episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen that Jones, who he interviewed for the tell-all, accused her co-stars on The View of playing a role in the tabloid exposure of her 2003 gastric bypass surgery.

The TV personality’s rapid weight loss became a major topic of discussion during her 9-year tenure on the talk show, during which she attributed the transformation to traditional diet and exercise. In 2007, Jones came forward with the truth, revealing that she had in fact undergone gastric bypass surgery and lost 160-lbs. 

“My time at The View was one of the great opportunities of my lifetime,” Jones told E! News in a statement via her rep. “Of course there were conflicts over the years, however I will forever consider Barbara Walters (along with my dear friend, the late Johnny Cochran) to be one of my two most influential mentors. The opportunity to sit beside her for so many years was a ‘master class’ in many aspects of my personal and professional life that I relish and am eternally grateful for.”

According to Setoodeh, Jones revealed to him that prior to her controversial dismissal from The View in 2006, “Both Barbara Walters and Joy Behar were leaking stories of her gastric bypass to The New York Post to ruin her reputation.”

Additionally, Setoodeh claimed Jones hired Judy Smith, the crisis management expert who inspired Kerry Washington‘s character on Scandal, to help orchestrate her exit. 

As the story’s been told over the years, Walters and ABC agreed Jones would announce her departure from The View on June 29, 2006. But unbeknownst to her View co-stars and production team, Jones took it upon herself to share the news on live television two days earlier. In the aftermath, Walters described feeling “betrayed” by Jones’ actions and dismissed the assertion that her panel-mate was leaving on her own terms. 

HuffPost‘s Yashar Ali previously reported on several excerpts from the book, calling it a depiction of a “breathtaking level of workplace misconduct, unethical behavior and dysfunction…”

Read more about The View‘s many alleged debacles in the gallery below:

Barbara Walters, Rosie O'Donnell

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The news icon allegedly did not like the negative attention O’Donnell drew to the show, so she threatened to leave to get the comedian off, so claims Ladies Who Punch

“If you re-sign Rosie to this show, Bill and I are going to quit,” Walters told ABC Daytime President Brian Frons in 2007 over dinner, according to the book (via People). While Walters remained on the show until 2014, O’Donnell did not return after the 10th season until season 18, her second and final on the show—and the first without Walters. 

By that point, O’Donnell had published her memoir, Celebrity Detox: The Fame Game. According to Setoodeh’s book (via The Huffington Post), she had sent a copy to Walters, who was angered by what O’Donnell wrote about her. So, she allegedly gave the book to ABC News and the network allegedly leaked it to the New York Post, reportedly in exchange for framing O’Donnell negatively with psychologists analyzing her mental health. ABC had no comment on the claims. 

Rosie O'Donnell, Elisabeth Hasselbeck

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While fans of the show are most likely familiar with their infamous on-air spat in 2007, the newly published book has ruffled feathers between the two again after O’Donnell claimed “there was a little bit of a crush.”

“But not that I wanted to kiss her,” she said in the book, adding that it was “in no way sexualized.”http://www.eonline.com/”I wanted to support, raise, elevate her, like she was the freshman star shortstop and I was the captain of the team.” 

She also claimed “there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts,” further basing those “undertones” on the sole fact that Hasselbeck had been a successful softball player. “There are not many, in my life, girls with such athletic talent on sports teams that are traditionally male that aren’t at least a little bit gay,” O’Donnell claimed. Hasselbeck retorted during an appearance on The View, calling her former co-host’s words “reckless,”http://www.eonline.com/”untrue” and “not only insulting [but also] disturbing when it comes to how she felt about somebody in the workplace.”

“If you replace what Rosie said and you take her name out and you put in Ruben or Robert, then we would be in a situation where you would see the objectification of a woman in the workplace,” she said. “And that’s disturbing because where we may be really against that when it comes from a man to a woman, you don’t get a pass because you’re a lesbian objectifying a woman in the workplace. You just don’t.”

Barbara Walters, Jenny McCarthy

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The season 17 co-hosts apparently did not see eye to eye on autism and aesthetic. “Barbara would check out what I was wearing. If she didn’t agree with it, or it didn’t complement her outfit, I had to change,” McCarthy claimed in the book (via Vulture). “Mind you, she doesn’t look at anyone’s clothes but mine. There were times when she’d say change, and she’d make people run out and get that dress in her size. I was a human Barbie doll.”

After McCarthy released her book Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism, Walters apparently had a bone to pick with her co-host. “I walked into her dressing room and she blew up at me,” Jenny alleged happened when she visited as a guest. “She was screaming, ‘How dare you say this! That autism can be cured?’ My knees were shaking. I remember my whole body was shaking.”

While McCarthy said she tried to clarify that she had never used the word “cured,”http://www.eonline.com/”This lasted for about seven minutes. Finally, someone pulled me out of the room. I went back to my dressing room, not knowing what the f–k to do. One of my heroes just chewed me a new a–hole, and I’m going on live TV.”

Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Walters

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According to McCarthy, there was a silent battle going on at the table between two of the other women. “The table is an interesting dynamic because it reminds me a little bit of Survivor…There was a war between Barbara and Whoopi about Barbara wanting to moderate…This is one of the reasons I decided not to ally with Whoopi,” Jenny claimed in the book (via Vulture). “It broke my heart when Barbara would shuffle to Whoopi and say, ‘Can I moderate please?’ And Whoopi would say no.”

Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O'Donnell, The View

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The women, who overlapped for season 18, apparently did not get along, according to Ladies Who Punch. 

“Whoopi Goldberg was as mean as anyone has ever been on television to me, personally—while I was sitting there,” O’Donnell told Setoodeh, according to an excerpt obtained by E! News. “Worse than Fox News. The worst experience I’ve ever had on live television was interacting with her.”

“Some people would say, ‘What’s going on with you and Whoopi?'” she continued. “I was like, ‘Are you watching the show? It’s pretty much right there.’ I have no desire for a public feud.” Goldberg has not commented on O’Donnell’s claims. 

“She’s a minority, feminist, smart, funny, groundbreaking legend who is black in America,” O’Donnell added. “I’m never going to not have respect for Whoopi Goldberg. But that was a painful experience, personally and professionally.”

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Barbara Walters

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In her own newly published book, Point of View, Hasselbeck revealed that Walters wrote Roger Ailes a referral for her after she was let go from The View. However, the women’s relationship was not always harmonious, according to Ladies Who Punch

As the book reported, the two got into a heated exchange over the morning-after pill in 2006, allegedly spurring Hasselbeck to storm off during a commercial break. “What the f–k! I don’t even swear. She has me swearing,” she allegedly told co-host Joy Behar, according to the book (via Page Six). “This woman is driving me nuts. I’m not going back. I can’t do the show like this. She just reprimanded me, and she knew exactly what she was doing. Goodbye! I’m off. Read about that in the New York f–king Post!” However, Hasselbeck ultimately stayed on the show until 2013. 

Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of “The View” is expected to be released April 2. 

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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