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'The View' 'ambushed' Star Jones, says 'Today' show colleague

February 23, 2012 | 11:01 am

The View

Donny Deutsch, Star Jones' colleague on the "Today's Professionals" regular segment of NBC's "Today" show, wasted no time at the start of Thursday's installment: He lashed out at Barbara Walters and the other co-hosts of "The View," saying those "mean girls" owed Jones an apology after her return on the show the previous day.

"They ambushed her yesterday," said Deutch in reference to Jones' return to the ABC daytime talk show, which she left under bitter circumstances nearly six years ago. He said it was like "watching the mean girls in the seventh-grade cafeteria take on a vulnerable girl."

Jones had returned to "The View" apparently to discuss her campaign to raise awareness of heart disease in women. It was her first time on the show since 2006, when she abruptly departed. When she was informed then that her co-hosting contract would not be renewed, she blindsided Walters on air by announcing she was leaving. She was gone the next day.

On Wednesday, after Walters warmly greeted Jones and embraced her, she almost immediately plunged into the topic of Jones' departure. Though Jones tried to deflect the topic, Walters pressed her.

"It was ugly," Jones said. "It was a bad emotional time. Nasty things were being said in the media. ...I made the decision that I wanted to go out on my own terms. I wanted to control it so that when I walked back in here, if I were ever invited back, I would feel good about coming in."

On "Today," Deutch said that Jones had made "a mistake in the past," but called Walters' and "The View's" treatment of Jones "cruel."

"I don't know if their numbers are down," he said. "But they owe Star an apology."


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Barbara Walters, Star Jones discuss her "ugly" departure from "The View"

--Greg Braxton

Photo: Barbara Walters, left, embraces former co-host Star Jones as Joy Behar, right, looks on during "The View." Credit: Ida Mae Astute / ABC.