Controversial Host Star Jones to Co-Host Today's THE VIEW?

Controversial Host Star Jones to Co-Host Today's THE VIEW?

The New York Post reports that controversial The View host Star Jones, who abruptly left the ABC chatfest in 2006 after a 9-year hosting stint, may serve as a co-host on today's show, filling the seat vacated by Barbara Walters.

During today's appearance, she is expected to announce her new post as president of the National Association of Professional Women. According to the report, "Whoopi Goldberg will open with acknowledgment that Star was one of the original hosts, and will congratulate her on her new gig," said a source.

Jones's nine-season tenure on The View was marked by controversy. Jones, who had been diagnosed as morbidly obese, began to undergo dramatic weight loss beginning in 2003. Jones never addressed her changing body with her fans, and viewers suspected that she had had gastric bypass surgery. In a 2006 appearance on a Raleigh, North Carolina radio station, she denied ever having such surgery. However, in a September 2007 essay in Glamour magazine, she revealed that she had indeed undergone gastric bypass surgery in August 2003, resulting in a loss of 160 pounds (73 kilograms) over three years. Many criticized Jones for her initial dishonesty, and for claiming that she had lost weight via diet and exercise. Barbara Walters told Oprah Winfrey in May 2008 that she had kept Jones' gastric bypass surgery a secret because Jones had asked her to, and that lying on the show turned the audience off.

Additionally, when she Married investment banker Al Reynolds in 2004, Jones reported her wedding plans on The View for months beforehand, including "plugs" for her suppliers, such as the wedding invitations, clothing, and airlines. It was later revealed that Jones had pushed product-placement in exchange for receiving those products and services for free. ABC claimed that her excessive self-promotion alienated viewers, and that her acceptance of clothing and merchandise for her wedding, in exchange for mentions on The View, was in violation of network policy, which prohibited on-air mentions in exchange for products.

In February 2006, Jones discovered that her contract would not be renewed for the following season, and that Rosie O'Donnell would replace her on The View. However, on June 27, 2006, Jones announced, during a live segment of The View, that she would be leaving. The following day, Barbara Walters announced that she had been "blindsided" by Jones' public announcement, and that effective immediately Jones no longer would appear on The View. When the series went into summer reruns, only programs in which she had been absent from the panel were rebroadcast. Jones was removed from the opening credits, leaving only Walters, Joy Behar, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. She was also immediately removed from the website.