Feb. 23, 2012 at 10:13 AM ET
The morning after Star Jones visited her old stomping grounds at "The View," Jones' TODAY's Professionals partner Donny Deutsch said the segment was like "watching the mean girls in the seventh-grade cafeteria take on a vulnerable girl."
"View" host Barbara Walters wasted no time in bringing up Jones' 2006 departure from the show Wednesday, which came as a shock to Walters and the other hosts at the time.
"What had happened was your contract was not renewed.... You surprised us on the air," said Walters.
Jones seemed taken aback that this was the first topic of conversation, but noted "Everything was ugly," saying that "it was a bad emotional time" for her. "I made the decision that I wanted to go out on my own terms," she told the panel.
On TODAY Thursday, Deutsch told Jones that he felt she was "ambushed" on the show, but she made it clear that she's comfortable in her new work home.
"This," said Jones, gesturing around the studio, "is family."