Star Jones was one of the most recognizable faces in show business years ago. Thanks to her strong opinions on The View, Jones spent nine years on the long-running talk show as one of the original cast members.
Jones openly struggled with her weight for years, finally deciding to undergo gastric bypass surgery. She wrote an essay for Glamour about her process.
I used to look in the mirror and take pride in my figure, but that was when I was legitimately a full-figured woman. I'd gradually gone from full-figured to morbidly obese. Finally, one of my dearest friends sat me down, looked me in the eye and said, "So, what are we going to do about your weight?" She knew my weight was a subject no one dared mention, but she didn't care—she loved me too much, she said, to allow me to continue killing myself.
As she transformed into a healthier version of herself, Jones also went through some career changes, announcing she would be leaving The View. However, the way she did it left a sour taste in a lot of people's mouths. Jones made the shocking announcement live on air.
"Something's been on my heart for a little bit, and after much prayer and counsel, I feel like this is the right time to tell you the show is moving in another direction for its 10th season, and I will not be returning as co-host next year," Jones said.
"That's shocking to me," co-host Joy Behar said.
Rumors about Jones' departure had been circulating around, with many speculating that it was her off-camera habits that led to ABC's decision to let her go. Instead of letting gossip take over, Jones said she wanted to "go out on her own terms" because "our viewers deserve the truth and I gave it to them."
The next day, Jones was erased from opening credits and no longer on the show.
"It is becoming uncomfortable for us to pretend that everything is the same at this table," Barbara Walters explained to the audience. "Therefore, regrettably, Star will no longer be on this program."
Jones had a declining social reputation, as people found it slimy that she had used her celebrity status to gain "wedding freebies" for her marriage to Al Reynolds.
“We tried to talk them out of it,” Walters said of the situation in a later interview. “And we tried to give Star time to redeem herself in the eyes of the audience, and the research just kept getting worse.”
Walters took issue with how Jones left, as Jones said she "felt like she was fired."
“I would have loved for Star to have left and not said ‘I was fired,’ and not make it look like the program was somehow being cruel to her," Walters said. "I love Star and I was trying to do everything I possibly could — up until this morning when I was betrayed — to protect her.”
The feud was highly publicized, but Jones chose to take the high road.
"I will not denigrate Ms. Walters ever, that's not who I am," Reynolds said, adding that she considered the broadcaster a mentor.
After Jones left The View, she definitely faded away from the spotlight. She didn't totally disappear, though. In 2011, the lawyer and television personality appeared on Celebrity Apprentice where she got in a feud with fellow contestant NeNe Leaks. The Real Housewives star called Jones a fake, saying she had it out for her.
Jones refuted these claims.
"I did Celebrity Apprentice to raise money and awareness for [the American Heart Association], not to see it reduced to a cliché where black women attack one another for publicity's sake," she told Life & Style. "I haven't made any comments in hopes that she would remember that we all participated in this show for charity and not as a vehicle to promote ourselves and such hatred."
Marriage & Family
Her marriage to Al Reynolds caused drama all over, and only lasted four years. After her divorce in 2008, Jones was hesitant to share her personal life with the public. It wasn't until 2016 that she introduced the world to her "life partner" and his son.
Ricardo Lugo and his son, Jake, attended the 8th Annual Children's Museum of the East End Family Affair with Jones.
“This is my family,” she introduced the Lugos. “I’m not married, but we’re together.”
While it wasn't clear how long the couple had been together, a year later they were engaged.
The duo tied the knot in March of 2018, and their pictures were stunning.
Now, Jones is continuing her activism work and enjoying her time as a new wife. She just got a new puppy, which means she'll definitely have her hands full!
I was going to wait until I actually had her home... but I’m so excited I can’t wait!!! Here’s Mimi!🐶😍😘 Because everyone knows how much I loved my Pinky... and how special she was to me...and will forever be, I wanted to share the joy and happiness of introducing the world to "Mimi Marie Lugo." The newest addition to our family. Why “Mimi!” You'll never believe it...but she and I have the SAME EXACT birthday, March 24th! Hence the name "Mimi"...as in "Mini Me." 😁 Call me crazy, but I really think while we were on our wedding cruise in March, Pinky talked to God and told him “I’m not ready yet… but I want a special birthday present for mommy when I’m gone.” And on my ACTUAL birthday... God sent another little angel down from heaven... As you can see in the pic...neither one of have our lashes on (Mimi is just naturally beautiful!) as it was our first meeting...but it's clear we're a match made in heaven. Ricardo and I will pick up our sweet little mischievous muffin on Sunday and bring her home to start a new life. Mimi surely can never replace my baby girl Pinky who now waits for me on the Rainbow Bridge that leads to heaven 🌈...but I know I have enough room in my heart for another little one here on earth and...I’m ready. It’s time for me to raise another diva! Look out ya’ll @iammimimarielugo is here! 😘