'The View': What Star Jones Regrets Not Discussing On-Air

The View has been in the news a lot lately since announcing the round table's new permanent co-hosts. Since Meghan McCain's exit, the talk show has tried out several guest co-hosts. For the first time in history, the show will have two conservatives sit at the roundtable to give their opinions on all things politics and pop culture. Former Trump Administration aid Alyssa Farah Griffin and Ana Navarro will begin full time this Fall. But as viewers of the show praise and criticize the new hosts, one former host has been opening up about her time on the show.

Star Jones co-hosted from 1997 to 2006 and shared much of her personal life on the show, including an engagement, wedding, and divorce from Al Reynolds. But there's one thing Jones says she held back from speaking about: depression related to her weight. In a recent reunion special with her former co-hosts, sans creator Barbra Walters, Jones admitted that she didn't speak about how her depression related to her health issues at the time. After shedding a significant amount of weight and attributing it to diet and exercise, she was later criticized when it was revealed that she underwent gastric bypass surgery. 

According to Hopkins Medicine, bypass surgery requires the top of the stomach to be changed into a small gastric pouch. A loop of a patient's small intestine is cut, and one end of the loop is brought up and connected to the gastric pouch. Food is then redirected to an area farther down in one's digestive system and bypasses the stomach. Because food will now bypass one's stomach, a person's body does not absorb as many calories and will make a person feel full much faster after eating.

"If I'm 100 percent honest, I regret not being strong enough to admit that I was in a depression and really ill about my health," she said. "I really regret that I just wasn't there." Joy Behar gave Jones kudos for how much she's "grown tremendously since then," before noting that she did recognize Jones' struggles behind the scenes. Jones dealt with obesity while on the show before losing weight with the assistance of weight loss surgery. It would take years before she admitted to going under the knife. 

"You thought it would've been great if one had said, 'Star, you need to lose weight. You're unhealthy,'" Behar remembered. "And I said, 'If I had said that to you, you would've bitten my head off.' And you said, 'Yes, I would've.'"

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Jones said that she knew her co-hosts "were probably worried" about her health. Meredith Vieira agreed. "We were worried and we were also kind of, to be honest, a little angry about the dialogue, because we felt, 'This isn't honest,'" Vieira explained. "We've purported to be the honest women on this show and we stopped being totally honest with each other, which was not good."

Behar added: "Star never ever talked about her weight issue like that. She was in tremendous denial. We had to pretend it was something other than what it was. We didn't like that," she said. "We were told, 'You have to be an actress.' And it's like, 'Well, we don't get paid to be an actress,' but we had to. We were uncomfortable with that and now she realizes it," she continued. "I have to give her credit, because she has come miles from where she was."