Star Jones returned to "The View" on Wednesday and set the record straight about her nasty departure from the show almost six years after falling out with Barbara Walters.
Jones exited "The View" in a firestorm of controversy in 2006. ABC had decided not to renew her contract, and she retaliated by announcing that she would be leaving the show. Walters would not allow her back the next day. The feud escalated when Walters revealed that Jones had asked her fellow co-hosts to lie about her weight loss from gastric bypass surgery.
Jones' epic return to the show on Wednesday, however, was much more amicable. The former co-host made a guest appearance to raise awareness of heart disease, and Barbara Walters said that she was genuinely "so happy to welcome" her back. When asked how it felt, Jones pointed out all the changes on the set, and joked that she and co-host Sherri Shepherd were in fact two different black women.
Walters asked Jones to recount the details of her exit, which she did not seem eager to discuss. "Are we really going to go here, Barbara?" Jones asked, before proceeding to give her account.
"It was ugly," she remembered. "Nasty things were being said in the media, it just wasn't a good emotional time." She said she took "real responsibility" for her behavior, adding, "I came to congratulate all of you on what you have accomplished."
The roundtable also touched on the sticky subject of Jones' weight loss. "Just to clear it up, we tried to protect you," Walters said, clarifying that Jones had asked the co-hosts not to discuss her surgery.
Jones said that she did not want them to discuss the "private way I decided to lose weight." Walters pointed out that they had lied to viewers. Joy Behar said that she and the other co-hosts had been told to attribute the weight loss to pilates instead of gastric bypass.
Jones declared that she was both physically and emotionally healthy today. She and Walters discussed undergoing heart surgeries, which they received within two months of each other.
"You look great," Walters said. "You look healthy. And we really are happy that you're back."