Dorothy Lucey joked about her promise not to cry during her guest shot Monday on her former rival "The KTLA Morning News," her first TV appearance since being let go a little more than a week ago from "Good Day L.A.", the Fox 11 news/entertainment show where she had worked for 17 years.
But Lucey, whose contract was not renewed, almost teared up when recalling how distraught she was by unflattering comments the show's "weather and lifestyle" anchor Jillian (Barberie) Reynolds had made about her on Howard Stern's radio show. Reynolds in 2009 spoke to Stern about her dislike for Lucey, calling her "very Christian and Bible-thumpy."
Lucey said she would call her friend, KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin, on her way to work, sobbing and saying, "I don't know if I want to be there anymore," she was so upset by the "mean."
The KTLA morning news team and Lucey were discussing Reynolds' apology to Lucey about those insults on the morning before Lucey's farewell. Footage of the apology -- and the conciliatory hug between the women with anchor Steve Edwards between them -- has provoked considerable buzz from some observers and bloggers who felt Reynolds was insincere and faking tears.
Rubin on Monday told Lucey that he felt Reynolds had taken "this unfortunate thing that happened to Dorothy, and made it all about herself." Weather anchor Mark Kriski said he felt Lucey was being blamed because things at KTTV "are not going well."
Lucey said she was also surprised by what she called her firing, since station management had told her that they wanted a "nice" newscast and that she fit right in. "I'm the nice Christian girl, the charity girl," she quipped.
She said she had a sense that she was going to be let go: "People were looking at me for a few weeks with sad eyes. I knew for a couple of weeks. I went through a period of denial."
But Lucey noted that despite the hard times, "for the most part, it was really fun." Saying she loved Edwards and Reynolds, who she called "a sister," Lucey added that she was touched by Reynolds' apology.
"I thought it was something that was deep and lovely, because [the comments] had been gnawing at me," Lucey said. "It helped me say goodbye." She suggested she had never confronted Reynolds about the statements: "You like to think you're the bigger person, that you forgive and forget, but it had gnawed at me."
Edwards remains on "Good Day L.A." while Reynolds will appear on a more limited basis that will allow her to participate in other projects. Executives said they would soon start holding auditions to replace Lucey.
-- Greg Braxton