Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Star Jones lashes out at Barbara Walters over gastric bypass surgery comments in her memoir

New York, NY
Nearly two years after Star Jones left "The View" on rocky terms, the 46-year-old TV personality has criticized former boss Barbara Walters for writing about her.

In Walters' new memoir, "Audition," she discusses how Jones wouldn't acknowledge her gastric bypass surgery on the air. She also writes about Jones' lavish wedding, which wound up alienating viewers as Jones accepted gifts in return for promotion.

"It is a sad day when an icon like Barbara Walters, in the sunset of her life, is reduced to publicly branding herself as an adulterer."

Walters reveals in the book that she had a past affair with married U.S. Sen. Edward Brooke that lasted several years in the 1970s.

The details about Jones are less juicy, but shed light on what happened behind the scenes on "The View" when Jones refused to publicly acknowledge the gastric bypass surgery she had in 2003.

Walters says Jones, who'd dropped 160 pounds in three years, changed her mind after telling Walters she'd talk about the procedure on the program. Walters says she didn't want to be the "poster child" for the procedure.

"I understood that, but it put us all in a terrible position," Walters writes. "It meant we virtually had to lie for Star, especially when she said again and again on the air that her weight loss was due primarily to portion control and Pilates. ... Joy (Behar), in particular, resented having to go along with the lie that implied that all one needed to do was sit-ups and ingest one cookie instead of two."

Jones confirmed her surgery last year in a first-person essay in Glamour magazine. She said she "was scared of what people might think," and "ashamed at not being able to get (herself) under control without this procedure."


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