Questions Surround Star Jones Reynolds' 'View' Departure

ByABC News via logo
June 29, 2006, 7:28 AM

June 29, 2006 — -- Controversy never seems far from Star Jones Reynolds, so perhaps it was fitting that her last day on 'The View' was controversial, too.

"Something has been on my heart for a little bit and after much prayer and counsel, I feel like this is the right time to tell you that the show is moving in another direction for its 10th season and I will not be returning as co-host next year," Reynolds said on Tuesday's show.

That statement caught her co-hosts by surprise.

"We didn't expect her to make this statement yesterday," Barbara Walters said on Wednesday. "She gave us no warning and we were taken by surprise. But the truth is that Star has known for months that ABC did not want to renew her contract and that she would not be asked back in the fall."

It's been a tumultuous couple of years for the former prosecutor turned talk show diva, Reynolds took a lot of heat from critics in the press who accused her of using the show to solicit freebies for her lavish wedding.

In an interview with "20/20's" Lynn Sherr earlier this year, Reynolds said, "I so wanted to be Cinderella for one brief, shining moment, I did .... I wanted the white dress. I wanted the 926 bridesmaids. I wanted it all."

She's also taken flack for her weight, but never publicly discussed her weight loss method or rumors of plastic surgery.

"In the nine seasons on "the View" I gained 75, then lost a total of 150 all in front of the world," Reynolds once told "Good Morning America."

On Wednesday, Reynolds added fuel to the current fire when she called in to a Los Angeles radio show and spoke to Ryan Seacrest.

"I was told yesterday that they did not want me to return today," Reynolds said on the radio.

"So you're not going on today?" Seacrest asked.

"Nope, not at all," Reynolds replied. "I was told yesterday was my last day."

Despite the controversy, Walters offered a word of thanks to Jones.

"'The View' helped make Star a star and Star helped make 'The View' the success that it is," Walters said. "We will never forget that. We wish her well in this new chapter of her life as we begin a new chapter on "The View."