Star Jones returned to The View Wednesday, almost six years after she left the show under unpleasant circumstances.
"It was ugly, everything around was ugly," Jones, 49, observed. "It was a bad, emotional time. Nasty things were being said in the media. It was just not a good emotional time." Jones, who was on the show to promote women's heart health, seemed surprised by Walters' line of questioning about her controversial exit. "I had eight fantastic years here. One was 'eh,'" she said. "I came back to congratulate you on all you accomplished. I hope you congratulate me on what I accomplished."
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In 2006, View creator and co-host Barbara Walters revealed to Jones that her contract would not be renewed for a 10th season, and said Jones could say that it was her decision. Jones then announced on the show that she would be leaving, but told People magazine that she felt like she was "fired." The following day, Walters informed viewers that Jones would no longer be a part of the show effective immediately, and her name was quickly removed from the show's credits and from its official website.
"I take real responsibility for my own behavior at all times, but I won't take responsibility if have not made a decision I can live with. I made the decision to go out on my own terms," Jones said. "I wanted to be able to control it so when I walk back in here, if I were ever invited, I would feel good about coming in."
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Walters and Joy Behar also asked Jones about her 2003 gastric bypass surgery. At the time, Jones refused to confirm she had undergone the procedure, despite her subsequent 160 pound weight loss. "We tried to protect you. We were told, 'Don't say it was gastric [bypass]. Say it was pilates and portion control,' " Behar said. "You are now a skinny b---. Congratulations."
Added Walters: "We did lie for you!"
Watch the full semi-awkward exchange below:
What do you think of Jones' reason for leaving? Do you miss seeing her on The View?