*Star Jones sat down with author Ramin Setoodeh to spill the tea for his forthcoming tell-all book “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View,” out April 2.
Jones was an original cohost on the ABC daytime show when it launched in 1997 until she was axed in 2006, right before the show’s 10th season.
As reported by PEOPLE, back in 2007 when she had gastric bypass surgery, Star tried to keep the operation on the low but her medical moment made headlines, and Jones believes her former co-hosts Barbara Walters and Joy Behar were responsible for the leak.
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On Wednesday’s episode of “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” Setoodeh recalled the claims from Jones, stating, “Star Jones said as she was being fired in 2006, both Barbara Walters and Joy Behar were leaking stories of her gastric bypass to The New York Post to ruin her reputation.”
In response, Jones released a statement to PEOPLE, saying, “My time at The View was one of the great opportunities of my lifetime. Of course there were conflicts over the years, however I will forever consider Barbara Walters (along with my dear friend, the late Johnny Cochran) to be one of my two most influential mentors. The opportunity to sit beside her for so many years was a ‘master class’ in many aspects of my personal and professional life that I relish and am eternally grateful for.”
Jones previously told Glamour in 2007 that wanted to remain mum about her gastric bypass surgery because she was “scared of what people might think of me.”
“I had spent my entire adult life telling everyone that I was fine with the way I looked. I never thought I’d have to explain it,” she said. “The toughest part of the journey has been forgiving myself for not having the self-control I know I should have had, or admitting I needed help.”
Jones opted to have surgery in August 2003 after she had ballooned up to 307 pounds.
“Even though I claimed to be just fine with my weight, I saw how other women [colleagues] were treated like the girlfriend, while I was treated like the good friend,” she wrote. “To compensate for my insecurities, I spoke louder and ate more.”
After surgery, Jones lost over 160 pounds over three years.