• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

At least in terms of media coverage, getting fired may be the best thing that's ever happened to Star Jones Reynolds' career.

The dismissed daytime host continued her post mortem media rounds, making her first TV appearances since leaving The View on Tuesday to further explain her side of the exit, respond to claims of betrayal and paint her departure as nothing more than a "business decision."

Reynolds appeared on Larry King Live Thursday night to discuss her highly publicized and, according to Barbara Walters, shocking on-air announcement that she would be leaving the talk show, a statement that prompted a headline-making war of words between Reynolds and her former boss.

"I wouldn't be honest if I didn't tell you that I was hurt," she told King. "This is a show that I loved with every ounce of my being. I loved coming to that show.

"When you wake up Tuesday morning and the night before there's tabloids outside your house to the point where I couldn't even go outside and walk my dog, Tuesday morning I said I need to do this on my own terms.

"I was told in April and then for two months I was told 'You can leave on your own terms,' and I decided to tell the truth...Actually, they said, 'You can make up a story,' and you the audience didn't deserve me making up a story. That's not fair."

Reynolds also responded to Walters' claims that she felt "betrayed" by comments Reynolds made to People magazine about feeling like she had been "fired." The remarks were published online before The View was even off the air Tuesday.

"I think [Walters] was reacting to a headline that says I was fired when, in reality, the question was...my contract was not renewed. The follow-up question was, how did that make you feel? I felt like I was fired," Reynolds said.

"I'm not sure where the problem is. I told the truth. I didn't lie. I told the truth."

In a statement released to King, the powers-that-be at ABC described why Reynolds was asked not to return after making her announcement Tuesday (she was supposed to stick around until mid-July).

"Because of her deceptions and the fact that The View is a live broadcast, the network could not trust what she might say on the air, and it was decided her services would be terminated immediately."

For her part, Reynolds says she jumped the gun with her on-air announcement to respond to "vicious" gossip reports, but sees no need for the sudden backlash.

"Nobody is blindsided. First of all you need to remember [show producers] Barbara and Bill orchestrated this from day one...I don't want anyone to think that I all of a sudden came in there on Tuesday and just dropped a bombshell to my colleague Barbara Walters and said, 'I'm leaving.' She's known since April that she didn't renew my contract."

According to the statement from ABC that King read on the air, Walters may have known longer than that.

Per the statement, Walters was given orders to fire Reynolds in November, after audience research revealed that certain offscreen behaviors, including Reynolds' wedding freebies free-for-all and unexplained dramatic weight loss, resulted in her having "lost credibility" with viewers and was "having a negative impact on the show."

Walters claimed she held off on the public ousting to allow Reynolds time to leave on her own terms and formulate her own story about why she was leaving, and that the show would back her up.

Reynolds, for perhaps the first time ever, expressed regret at her unabashed on-air shilling.

"And if you ask me, was that a mistake, I'm going to tell you yes. If you ask me if some of my viewers were turned off by it, I'm going to tell you yes. And if you ask me, would I have done it the same way again, I would say no, 100 percent."

As for the question of her weight loss--Reynolds recently lost more than 150 pounds--she says she's always copped to the fact that there was a "medical intervention."

When asked by King if she meant surgery, Reynolds responded, "What else could it mean?"

Still, Reynolds insists there's no bad blood.

"She's my mentor," she said of Walters. "And I've got to tell you, I will not, no matter what anybody does or tries to bait me to do, I will not denigrate Ms. Walters, ever. That's not who I am."

She continued her goodwill tour Friday morning, talking to Al Roker on the Today show.

"I got a really wonderful, personal phone call from [View cohost] Elisabeth [Hasselbeck] and it really spoke to her character and I appreciate it," Reynolds said.

As for Walters, Reynolds added, "I still have her in my heart."

Reynolds then told Roker that "today is the last day I'm going to discuss this. I've made some mistakes, I've grown and I'm moving on to the next step in my career.

"If I had to do it again I would be more humble and I would allow them to see the genuine character of who I am."

As for what's next on Reynolds' agenda, she told King she would continue what she does best.

"I'm going to work on my new television projects. I'm going to roll up my sleeves and get right back into working on child advocacy, like I've been doing, and I'm going to continue to grow and become the person that I aspire to be every single day."

As for Reynolds' View cohorts, they are moving forward.

While just the remaining three cohosts appeared on air Wednesday, by Thursday morning a new--though not that new--face joined the ladies.

One Life to Live's Renee Elise Goldsberry, who has cohosted the show two times before and even slightly resembles Reynolds, stood in as the fourth woman at the table with nary a word referencing the departed cohost.


While discussing a legal issue, Goldsberry said she "wasn't a lawyer," though she plays one on TV, following up her comment by claiming she wasn't going to get "in the middle of things."

Reynolds did reappear on the air in Friday morning's show, however, participating in a pretaped interview with the cast of The Devil Wears Prada.

Meanwhile, People reports that Brandy will fill in next Wednesday and Friday.