Star Jones is speaking out about her departure from “The View,” her divorce from Al Reynolds and what fans can expect from her next — and she’s not holding anything back.
“Star is back,” she told Essence magazine in the November issue. “I have now proven to myself that whatever life throws at me, I can catch it and I can throw it right back. I’m confident again.”
The television personality said she has finally regained her confidence after years of personal turmoil.
While on “The View,” Jones contended with the media’s constant scrutinizing of her weight, which she refers to as “mean spirited,” along with strife with her “View” co-hosts.
After she announced she was leaving the show in 2006, Jones said her fellow daytime chatterers turned on her as she made her exit.
“Those girls were hateful,” Star said of the “View” cohorts.
Before leaving, Jones dealt with depression related to her weight.
“I ate the whole time,” she revealed. “I ate in my room alone. And I got fatter and fatter.”
After a trip to Jamaica, Jones took the advice of a friend and got gastric bypass surgery in 2003, a procedure that Jones credits with keeping her alive.
“That surgery saved my life,” she said. “I know some people say, ‘She did it the easy way.’ But it has been the hardest struggle of my life to get healthy.”
Jones might not regret having the surgery, but she does have misgivings about not initially telling her fans about it.
“I should have told them ... there would not have been a backlash,” she said.
Following Jones' “View” departure, she became embroiled in a war of words with Barbara Walters, had her Court TV show cancelled and divorced husband Al Reynolds — all which took a major toll.
“I knew I couldn’t spend another day in New York, I felt myself falling into a depression,” Jones said.
She was able to put her life back together with a summer trip to Italy with friends, including singer Natalie Cole.
Jones is now in talks to return to television in a non-scripted series and says she’s also ready to give love another try.
“I want to fall in love again,” Jones told the magazine. “I’m ready to love 24/7. I want happiness. I want to be with somebody who wants to be with me, I can’t wait, I cannot wait.”