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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Star Jones Reynolds

Aired June 29, 2006 - 21:00   ET


STAR JONES REYNOLDS: I feel like this is the right time to tell you that the show's moving in another direction for its tenth season and I will not be returning as co-host next year.

LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, exclusive, Star Jones Reynolds, her first TV interview since her abrupt departure from "The View" that left Barbara Walters feeling betrayed.

BARBARA WALTER, CO-HOST "THE VIEW": We didn't expect her to make this statement yesterday. She gave us no warning and we were taken by surprise.

KING: After nearly a decade of dish the daytime diva is off "The View" forever. Did she jump or was she pushed? She's here now to take your calls; Star Jones Reynolds exclusive next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Good evening. Welcome to another edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We'll say right at the outset that we've been sent a written version of their side of the story from the folks at ABC. We'll get to their points later. And, I spoke at length yesterday with Barbara Walters, who has asked me to quote her liberally throughout this program.

Star Jones Reynolds is our guest. Here's what happened. Let's see Tuesday night when you surprised a lot of people with this announcement, watch.


REYNOLDS: Something's 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's moving in another direction for its tenth season and I will not be returning as co-host next year.

WALTERS: Oh, shocking. It's shocking to me that you...

REYNOLDS: I'm going to hold your hands right now because as you might imagine this has got to be the hardest thing to do, OK.

WALTERS: This is hard, sure. Yes. REYNOLDS: It's been the most amazing nine years of my entire professional and personal life. Barbara, I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to sit at this table and sit with you guys. My co-hosts Joy and Elizabeth and my Meredith in absentia we have a lifetime of memories together.


REYNOLDS: And I'm going to take all of that and the respect that I have for all of you with me.


KING: By the way I said Tuesday night. That, of course, was Tuesday morning. Why did you do it that way?

REYNOLDS: We had always planned quite frankly for me to announce that I would be leaving "The View." When I say we I mean ABC, Barbara, Bill, our executive producers and me.

When they first told me that my contract was not going to be renewed they asked me to stay to a certain date, specifically to July 13th and they specifically said what week they wanted me to talk about it and that I could go out on my own terms. And, I had been planning to do it on Thursday.

KING: But?

REYNOLDS: But, Larry, if you think about it I was told April 21st that my contract wasn't going to be renewed, so for two months I've been going to "The View" every single day doing my job 100 percent professionally. And through it all every single week there'd be news reports, speculation, rumor, gossip, innuendo and it was relentless.

On Monday, I woke up and there was another story and the countdown to Star leaving "The View" with a date definite. Now, no one knew that information but executives and me and then Tuesday...

KING: So you're saying somebody leaked it?

REYNOLDS: Absolutely, there's no question that that was done and then Tuesday morning I woke up and it was more of it and I realized it was turning into a circus atmosphere and the viewers deserved after nine years me to not go out in a circus atmosphere.

KING: But, Barbara Walters told me that she had arranged with you, your agent and everybody to have a goodbye on Thursday. They were going to do a whole kind of tribute to you for a full hour, showing highlights of your past nine years with "The View," that's not true?

REYNOLDS: Actually, Larry, I never agreed to any of that. I agreed that I would make the announcement that I would leave on Thursday. As a matter of fact, I specifically said I did not want a big, long, large tribute. I didn't feel that way after being told that my contract was not going to be renewed.

KING: Did you feel you were betrayed?

REYNOLDS: You know that's such a tough word. I looked at it as a business decision. In April when I was told that the numbers weren't adding up and that they were going to make a change, you know emotionally you go after nine years you want to be angry and upset but I stepped back.

Two hundred thousand people a year get a pink slip, so I said "Be professional. People's jobs depend on you." And I went to work and I said it's a business decision. But it then became very, very personal in the media and that started to hurt.

KING: Why not wait until Thursday?

REYNOLDS: When you wake up Tuesday morning and the night before there's tabloids outside your house to the point where I couldn't even go outside and walk my dog, Tuesday morning I said I need to do this on my own terms. I called my pastor and we talked about it. We prayed. And, I said Tuesday I'm going to tell what's going on and I did.

KING: When I spoke to Barbara yesterday one of the things she was most upset about was that you had talked to "People" magazine before Tuesday.


KING: You had taken pictures.


KING: For publication this week. You had told your whole story of being fired. And yet on the air it looked like you quit.

REYNOLDS: Well, on the air I said I was moving -- the show was moving in another direction and I will not be returning to "The View." That's actually what I said. And from the beginning, from April because I really want you to look back to when it was first decided, I was told "You'll be able to leave on your own terms." The terms I chose was to tell the truth. I mean I'm not used to being blasted for telling the truth.

KING: Why did you talk to "People" magazine before Tuesday?

REYNOLDS: Because I really wanted the viewers, I thought they deserved to know. If I was going to make the decision that week, Thursday, there was going to be a time that the viewers wanted to know what actually happened.

KING: Why didn't you tell Barbara that you had spoken to "People"?

REYNOLDS: Pretty much probably the same reason she hasn't spoken to me yet. She called you to talk to you about it. She didn't speak to me.

KING: Well she told me after the fact though.

REYNOLDS: But, Larry, you should know I wasn't told by Barbara that my contract was being -- not being renewed. My agent was told and then I was told. I want you to know how it happened.

KING: She told me it was not her decision. It was ABC's decision.

REYNOLDS: But I said...

KING: And she held it off for a while. They wanted to do it earlier.

REYNOLDS: I understand.

KING: Is that true?

REYNOLDS: Listen, I was told in April, on April 21st. As a matter of fact, my agent was called the night before and then my agent called my managers and my husband and Al got on a plane and flew to me where I was in Phoenix to tell me himself.

KING: All right, let me get something here. We've heard her statement on Tuesday. Here's what happened on Wednesday morning as Barbara Walters opens her show with her own announcement. Watch.


WALTERS: And then there were three.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then there were three.

WALTERS: This is truthfully a very difficult day for us and it's a sad day for us. If you were watching the program yesterday, you would have heard Star announce that she's leaving "The View" and will not be on the program next fall.

We didn't expect her to make this statement yesterday. 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.

The network made this decision based on a variety of reasons which I won't go into now. But we were never going to say this. We wanted to protect Star and so we told her that she could say whatever she wanted about why she was leaving and that we would back her up.

We worked closely with her representatives and we gave her time to look for another job and we hoped then that she would announce it here on the program and leave with dignity but Star made another choice.

And since her announcement yesterday she has made further announcements that have surprised us. So, it is becoming uncomfortable for us to pretend that everything is the same at this table and therefore regrettably Star will no longer be on this program except some shows that have been pre-recorded.

"The View" helped make Star a star and Star helped make "The View" the success that it is and 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."


KING: How do you react to that?

REYNOLDS: That's the first time I've seen it. I had not seen it before. I'm sad that the platform that I helped to build was used in a way to attack me professionally.

KING: Do you think you were attacked there?

REYNOLDS: Well, I'll leave that to the viewers to decide but, you know Larry, I guess our show gave me the opportunity to experience a lot of emotions and I remember several months ago there was a hot topic and the hot topic was on the question of loyalty.

The discussion was what do you do when a friend is disloyal? How do you react? And I was very vehement when someone you counted as a friend is disloyal. You cannot meet that with disloyalty. That's not right because it speaks to your character.

KING: I got to get a break but are you saying Barbara was disloyal to you?

REYNOLDS: What I'm saying to you is my response is going to be indicative of my character. I've sat with the most amazing female broadcaster in the history of the business and I thank her for the opportunity.

KING: Star Jones Reynolds is our guest. We'll be right back.


REYNOLDS: And these viewers you have welcomed me into your heart, in to your homes for nine years and it has been a privilege that I cannot measure with words. I love you desperately. I thank you for the opportunity. I'm not sure what the future holds but I'm absolutely sure who holds the future and I thank you very much.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have had good-natured fights on the air many times.

WALTERS: And we will continue to. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We imported that religion about the way you raise children and it was in the press that we were mad at each other. We fought on the air, not off the air.

REYNOLDS: That's because you're a very smart woman Joy and sitting next to you challenges my mind.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not about me. This is about you today.

REYNOLDS: Well, no honestly...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I leave we'll talk about me.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have one more thing to say.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Surprise, surprise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That I have always been fond of you but since you became a skinny bitch you've not been the same. We were sisters in the chubbiness.

REYNOLDS: And we always will be.


KING: We're back with Star Jones Reynolds. Are you saying now that you were fired?

REYNOLDS: My contract was not renewed.

KING: That's fired right?

REYNOLDS: Well the statement is the truth. My contract was not renewed and I was told for the first time in April and for two months I came to work every day.

KING: You lived with it. She mentioned the skinny thing and part of the development, and Barbara told me this, that when they did the surveys of when you were losing favor with the audience was when you discussed your weight loss as if you had done it with portions and eating and that no one believed that.

And that the crew of "The View" kind of covered for you that they sort of knew there was some sort of surgery involved, couldn't understand why you wouldn't just say that rather than go into this thing which they didn't believe and apparently the audience didn't believe.

REYNOLDS: You know that's very interesting, Larry, because when you and I talked about this we actually talked about it for an hour last time I was here with you. You quoted from my book where I specifically say that because of my health I couldn't breathe. I couldn't walk. Talking was difficult. That I needed a full scale medical intervention and that my doctors had to step in and save my life. I've said it in writing. I've said it in person. I said it to you. You all brought it up on the screen. And so for anybody to suggest that I...

KING: You're saying you always said there was surgery?

REYNOLDS: I've always said that there was a medical -- I mean look at me for goodness sake. I've been...

KING: So where was the impression given that you did this on a diet?

REYNOLDS: I have no idea why anybody would suggest that that's the statement that I've made. I actually have always said it was a medical intervention always.

KING: That means surgery right?

REYNOLDS: What else could it mean?

KING: OK. What did Barbara mean when she said "The View" kind of covered for you on that?

REYNOLDS: Well, you know what here's the thing. Over nine years, as you might imagine, there are private things that went on with each one of us with our children, with our husbands, with our own personal health and each one of us respected the other's privacy.

That's what you do when you're colleagues and I respected theirs and everything they asked me to. And it was my expectation and my great honor that they respected my privacy. We're talking about health Larry. We're not talking about shoes. We're talking my health.

KING: But they said they did respect it because they never said anything. They never countered you.

REYNOLDS: Well you know what and I -- but I didn't ask them to. I didn't ask them to do anything other than respect me the way I respected them and I was so appreciative of that. My crew protected me, my staff.

KING: To protect you from what? You didn't do anything wrong.

REYNOLDS: No, it was my privacy as it relates to my health and just like we do on the show every day do you know how many thing have occurred over nine years, just guess with women the things that have occurred.

KING: The things you know about all of them?

REYNOLDS: Why would I ever invade their privacy?

KING: Are you very hurt? REYNOLDS: Gosh you ask the tough question. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't tell you that I was hurt. This is a show that I loved with every ounce of my being. I loved coming to that show. I loved interacting with the viewers. I'm the co-host that goes in the audience every day and talks to the audience. I wanted to share my life and my thoughts and views with them and for nine years I had the privilege of doing that.

KING: So, sure you're hurt.

REYNOLDS: Of course.

KING: Back to Tuesday and take a look at your co-hosts reacting after you dropped the bombshell. Watch.


WALTERS: We've heard rumors. We have read rumors. This is a surprise that this would come about this way. We did not expect it. But this I have to say. From the day you came on this program nine years ago I cannot imagine "The View" being the success that it has been without you.

REYNOLDS: Thank you.

WALTERS: Without the kind of work you've done, without your intelligence and your humor. We have seen you evolve. You are a great lady and whatever you decide to do I know that you and Al have thought about it and talked about it and that you feel it's the best for you. I have no doubt that you're just going to be so successful. Anybody would be very lucky to have you and it is my joy that we have had you for nine years.

REYNOLDS: Thank you very much Barbara.

WALTERS: And, you know, my sadness that it's turned out this way but it is best, whatever is best for you is what I want, what we all want most for you.

REYNOLDS: Thank you very much.

WALTERS: You've been such a part of this show.

REYNOLDS: Thank you.

WALTERS: You know I can't imagine how "The View" would have succeeded without you.

REYNOLDS: Thank you.

WALTERS: How long you going to be with us?



REYNOLDS: We're supposed to stay until mid-July.

WALTERS: I hope so.

REYNOLDS: And then take some time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come and join "The View."

WALTERS: I hope you'll stay with us. I hope you'll stay with us as long as you will.

REYNOLDS: Thank you very much.


KING: Do you think you should have said right then, "By the way, I've talked to People magazine and there's going to be a story?"

REYNOLDS: That was not the forum for me to say "I've talked to People magazine."

KING: But it wouldn't have blindsided them when they learned about it.

REYNOLDS: But, Larry, nobody is blindsided. First of all you need to remember Barbara and Bill orchestrated this from day one.

KING: Bill is the producer.

REYNOLDS: Is the other producer. Larry, I don't want anybody to think that I all of a sudden came in there on Tuesday and just dropped a bombshell to my colleague Barbara Walters and said "I'm leaving." She's known since April that she didn't renew my contract.

KING: We'll get a break and when we come back ABC had some things to say and we'll read them off right after this.


KING: And what did you do?

REYNOLDS: The whole world wants to know that now right?

KING: Why? You write a book that's open. You write about a physical, emotional and spiritual journey to finding love.

REYNOLDS: And I leave that out.

KING: Why?

REYNOLDS: Because, you know, well first of all I like people to know that what you see here is the end result of two and a half years of a lot of work.

KING: But you can help them attain it by telling them how you achieved it. REYNOLDS: Not really in all honesty because until you take control of your own health and go to your own doctor and have your own doctor tell you what's going to work for you. I found that nothing that anybody else said to me would work.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More on all those verbal jabs flying on "The View."

JOE SCARBOROUGH: It gets even uglier as Jones blames Walters. Walters blames ABC. ABC blames the viewers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And to the war of words heating up between Star Jones Reynolds and ABC's own Barbara Walters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those other surprises Ms. Walters mentioned merely an interview with "People" magazine in which Ms. Jones said she felt like she'd been fired, an interview that was posted on the web before she was even off the air Tuesday.


KING: We've been hearing Star Jones Reynolds' side. Now ABC network sent us some written version of their side, faxed it to me today. Here are some of those points and we'll have Star respond.

"The ABC network informed Barbara and Bill Geddie, the co- executive producer, in November of 2002 that Star's contract was not being renewed. The network fired Star and gave orders to Barbara. Barbara resisted." Barbara concurred with this by the way. She told me that yesterday.

"ABC conducted extensive focus groups that Star had lost credibility and was damaging the show. Star's wedding freebies hit the papers across the country having a negative impact on the show.

Star sold her wedding pictures to People magazine and The View could not put those pictures on their show.

Star had a dramatic weight loss and was not forthright with her audience further damaging her credibility."

Now is that true? Was it November, not April, that you were told?

REYNOLDS: No, absolutely not. As a matter...

KING: You were never told?

REYNOLDS: No, Larry, this is very, very important. I remember waking up one November morning. Actually Bill Geddie has always complimented me on my photographic memory. And opening the local newspapers and there was a blurb in there that ABC was looking to replace me. Clearly someone had leaked something.

And I went in and I looked Bill in the face and I said, "Bill, is ABC looking to replace me? Is my job in jeopardy?" One, I thought if that's true I need to try to figure out if there's anything I can do. But, two, with such a longstanding relationship I should get my ducks in order if that were true.

And he said to me, "I've heard nothing of the sort and that was not true" and I believed him. That was November. I never heard another word about my job being in jeopardy until April 21st. That is a factual statement. I don't know how to deal in anything other than the facts.

KING: Barbara told me that she first told them when she heard about it in November "Let's not do it. It's too close to Christmas."

REYNOLDS: She didn't tell me.

KING: Then she said they told her and you had a book coming out and she didn't want to damage the book, et cetera. You knew nothing of this?

REYNOLDS: No, absolutely not. But, Larry, I don't even think Barbara claims that she told me that or that Bill claims he told me that.

KING: Well Barbara was told. She told me she was told by ABC in November.

REYNOLDS: But no one told me. I was told in April and then for two months I was told "You can leave on your own terms" and I decided to tell the truth. Now, I was told "You can leave on your own terms." Actually they said "You can make up a story" and you know the audience didn't deserve me making up a story. That's not fair.

KING: What about selling the freebies or getting freebies and selling pictures and all that?

REYNOLDS: You know that's very interesting that people say that or that...

KING: It said that hurt your credibility.

REYNOLDS: ...ABC actually said that.

KING: That's what ABC said to us.

REYNOLDS: I did not sell the photographs of my wedding to People magazine or anyone else. As a matter of fact, I own all the photographs. The only person who got paid was the photographer for regular editorial rate and this is a Time Warner company. You're welcome to ask the People executives. They did not pay for the rights of my photographs.

KING: You mean the pictures they ran they didn't have to pay for?

REYNOLDS: No. They just went. The photographer got his normal editorial rate.

KING: Did you get a lot of freebies?

REYNOLDS: And I didn't get any money, absolutely the...

KING: You did?

REYNOLDS: There's no question that I used my celebrity as it related to making those wedding plans. There's also no question that this was an...

KING: Against ABC policy though.

REYNOLDS: Absolutely not.

KING: Not?

REYNOLDS: One hundred percent absolutely not. I've never had the opportunity to explain this but since the network decided they wanted to talk about it I will. There was an agreement between the network and me as to what segments I would do on "The View" and they insisted that they make the phone calls on my behalf.

KING: To get the...

REYNOLDS: In exchange for using certain people on the air, et cetera, et cetera. But I was not allowed to because that's a violation. Now, I'm a lawyer. Remember, I know how to not violate the law.

KING: So there was no exchange of gifts, no quid pro quo?

REYNOLDS: Where I would say oh, I'm going to get this cup as long as I talk about it on "The View," under no circumstances.

KING: So where did that come from?

REYNOLDS: Well, there was, as you can imagine, I had my own resources outside of "The View" that had nothing to do with my performance on the show. And yes, Star 100 percent confesses, used my celebrity 100 percent. And if you ask me, was that a mistake, I'm going to tell you yes. If you ask me if some of my viewers were turned off by it, I'm going to tell you yes. And if you ask me, would I have done it the same way again, I would say no, 100 percent.

And I believe very strongly that when you make those corrections, then either people accept it or they don't.

And, Larry, the ratings, sadly to tell you, were the best ratings that "The View" has ever gotten. In 2004, of the top 10 shows, half of them had to do with the planning of my wedding. Those are the numbers that have been provided.

KING: We'll be right back with Star Jones Reynolds. Don't go away.


REYNOLDS: I'm going to become Mrs. Al Reynolds on November 13th, 2001.


REYNOLDS: ... no, I don't care who it is. It says: Please note that we can only accommodate the guest or guests that have been specifically invited.



KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE.

We get e-mails through our Web site, and this one is from Denise in Columbia, South Carolina. Is there any truth to the rumors that Star's departure was a condition of Rosie O'Donnell joining "The View?"

REYNOLDS: You know, I don't think so, because I was told like everybody else was that Rosie was going to join "The View" in Meredith's place, and that was a business decision. It was a little strange in terms of the timing, because, remember now, I'm telling you that I was told on April 21st that my contract was not going to be renewed, and I was told four days later, five days later, on the Wednesday, the day before I was to leave for the Emmys, that Rosie was going to become our new co-host.

KING: How did you feel about that? Honest?

REYNOLDS: You know, I love the fact -- you said "honest," and I'm going to be honest. Rosie and I had always been friends. I liked her. I participated in her project. She had asked me to participate in some of her charity events. So I was really taken aback when just two weeks prior to me being told my contract wasn't being renewed, she went on a very public attack of me and my family.

KING: Over what? Over the getting favors?

REYNOLDS: No. She talked about my weight. She misinterpreted -- she actually said, Star claimed she lost weight through Pilates and yoga, which you know is not what I ever did. You can look at the book and say that.

KING: It took you by surprise?

REYNOLDS: And she attacked my family in print. And so I was so taken aback...

KING: Did you call her?

REYNOLDS: No, because, Larry, that's the one thing we have learned in this business, I think you would agree, the last thing you want to do is get into a tabloid fight with someone and that tit for tat.

KING: Wouldn't calling her have helped?

REYNOLDS: Well, I was so shocked at the sort of viciousness of it, I didn't even have time to regroup, because what I later found out, sitting in my seat at the Emmy Awards, that the same week that Rosie went on that attack, Barbara called her and invited her to be a co-host of "The View." I literally sat there in shock.

Now, mind you, within minutes, I had to have a smile on my face and walk across the stage of the Daytime Emmys and make a presentation. That all happened within the same week.

KING: Did you take that as Barbara betraying you?

REYNOLDS: I held it in my heart, because I knew what I had to do. I knew for the next two months, I would have to walk in and still contribute and be 100 percent professional. And so I talked to the people who I love and respect and said, I wanted to do it with grace and dignity.

KING: Since you have known her nine years, Barbara Walters, right?


KING: Why didn't you sit down with her and say, Barbara, what is this with Rosie? And why, when you knew I had been attacked, did you go with Rosie to the Emmys?


KING: And what did she say?

REYNOLDS: This was a business decision and wrap yourself around it, Star.

KING: That's what she said?

REYNOLDS: Yes. I was sitting in an office, and I was very clearly told, Rosie is coming, wrap yourself around it. And I thought to myself, wow. After nine years, I would have thought that at least I would have gotten, I'm sorry that someone was so hurtful to you, but we're going to move in another direction. Because that's respectful.

What I hate about this more than anything, and may I share it, is this is the worst example of what people say about women. I will not be in a cat fight. It's not who I am. It's not who I want to be. It's not who I was raised to be. Women professionals need to perform as women professionals, and I have sat across from the greatest female journalist of our times.

KING: Barbara Walters. REYNOLDS: And I have learned from that woman. She's my mentor. I have learned as much about television from her as I learned about the law from my friend, the late Johnnie Cochran. And I've got to tell you, I will not, no matter what anybody does or tries to bait me to do, I will not denigrate Ms. Walters, ever. That's not who I am.

KING: And before we take a break, let's check in with Anderson Cooper. He'll host "AC 360" at the top of the hour. I understand we have some news breaking, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, AC 360: Yes, Larry. A new tape, audiotape believed to be from Osama bin Laden has been released on the Internet. We'll have all the details at the top of the hour. This, of course, would be the first communication from Osama bin Laden. We're working on translating it right now, but we have confirmed that bin Laden talks about the recent death of al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The tape runs just over 19 minutes long. It is covered with a split screen of bin Laden and Zarqawi. As I say, we are working on translating the tape now. We're going to bring you the information as soon as we have it, Larry. This of course the first time that we have heard Osama bin Laden talking about the death of Zarqawi. A tape was released from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the number two man, Osama bin Laden's right-hand man, that tape released just last week talking about al- Zarqawi. This would be the first time that we've heard Osama bin Laden talking about the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq. The history of these two men, of course, we know, long and complicated. We'll have all of that at the top of the hour Larry, on "360."

KING: Thanks Anderson, that's big news. "AC 360" at the top of the hour, that's 10:00 eastern, 7:00 pacific. We'll be back with Star Jones Reynolds right after this.



REYNOLDS: When you are looking at Heath Ledger, you don't get any kissing Jake Gyllenhaal.

KING: Are you enjoying it?

REYNOLDS: I'm enjoying every minute of it. Do you know nine seasons. We were about to do our 2,000th show.

KING: Why did you leave the law?

REYNOLDS: Well first of all I keep paying my dues. I pay my $300 every year.

KING: For the bar association.

REYNOLDS: Yes, because in case these stupid people decide to dump me, I can always go back to Brooklyn, right. (END VIDEO CLIP)

REYNOLDS: Boy, is that appropriate this week.

KING: Well, go back to Brooklyn. Anyway, good thought from inside our production facility. When you were told in April, you say April, they say November, when you were told in April?

REYNOLDS: No, it was April. There's no tit for tat. It was April.

KING: Barbara was told in November, you were told in April.

REYNOLDS: Absolutely.

KING: When you were told in April, did you say, maybe I can stick it out, maybe the ratings will get better, maybe my image will improve, I want to stay with the show?

REYNOLDS: I wasn't give that option Larry.

KING: Did you want it?

REYNOLDS: In all honesty, I was moving on. I was going to leave right then. I was asked to stay. I was specifically asked to stay until Meredith left, and then I was specifically told I couldn't leave until mid July. These are actual conversations that I had.

KING: When was your contract up?

REYNOLDS: It wasn't up until, it's not up yet. It's up in August.

KING: You're still being paid?

REYNOLDS: Well, I haven't checked. I haven't checked my bank statement.

KING: They owe you money, right?

REYNOLDS: Of course they do. If you think about it for a minute, if ABC says they were not going to renew my contract, that would mean my contract would be over in August. It was never supposed to be Star get the heck out of here. In December, January, February, March, April. It was, they said they were not going to renew my contract.

KING: Which of your co-hosts would you say you're still friendly with?

REYNOLDS: I hope I'm still friendly with them all. I know ...

KING: Barbara, it ain't going to be?

REYNOLDS: Well, I'll sad to hear that. I'm really and truly sad to hear that. I hold her in tremendous high regard. She said to the viewers that she held me in tremendous high regard.

KING: She said she said that before she heard about "People Magazine?"

REYNOLDS: What did I say in people magazine?

KING: I don't know, I haven't seen it.

REYNOLDS: That's the thing. I think she was reacting to a headline that says I was fired when, in reality, the question was, what happened, as you asked, my contract was not renewed. The follow up question was, how did that make you feel? I felt like I was fired. You're the one who sat here and said, that means you were fired. The truth ...

KING: The contract was not renewed, semantics?

REYNOLDS: So that's actually what I said, Larry. I'm not sure where the problem is. I told the truth. I didn't lie. I told the truth.

KING: Right back with Star Jones Reynolds and more on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


REYNOLDS: I just realized some of the people I convicted, they are coming out of prison.

It just hit me all of a sudden.

WALTERS: Don't worry, they won't recognize you.




REYNOLDS: People says yes baby, but I think some of those babies really are bitch. I really think so. I really do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's a good, hot topic.

REYNOLDS A perfect response to that. Your man liked it last night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wouldn't think to say that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Only you are capable of out-bitching a bitch.


REYNOLDS: I love those girls. I do.

KING: You're going to miss this?

REYNOLDS: I love it.

KING: Let's take a quick call, Palm City, Florida, Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, thank you very much for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: Star, I'm a big fan and a big fan of "The View," and it's a pleasure to be able to talk to you.

REYNOLDS: Thank you.

CALLER: In fact, I was in the audience for "The View" last year, when I came up on vacation to New York City.

KING: What's the question?

CALLER: My question is, who would you like to see replace you, and do you have any idea who might replace you?

REYNOLDS: I haven't heard anything about who might replace me, but I really would like them to fill the seat with someone that brings diversity, absolutely, because I think that's important for our country, to have a varied view.

KING: You're saying she has to be black?

REYNOLDS: No, I want -- I'm not -- definitely not saying they have to be black, but quite frankly it would be nice to see another African-American professional.

KING: Someone unknown?

REYNOLDS: But not, you know, not an actress or a comedian. I would like it to be a professional, who quite frankly, takes the role that I always took. And there are so many African-American, smart, beautiful, wonderful role models, it would be nice to see them.

KING: Let's hit just a couple of other points that ABC sent us and you can respond. This is from the network.

"In January, the network informed Star's agent and management that they had big concerns about renewing her contract as a result of plummeting popularity with viewers. And unless something drastic changed in research findings, her contract wouldn't be renewed."

REYNOLDS: That's not true.

KING: "Barbara and Bill were able to explain to Star the reasons for this decisions were based not in her on-camera performance, but her off-camera persona."

REYNOLDS: When did that happen?

KING: Same time, I guess.

"Unbeknownst to either Barbara, Bill or the network, Star had completed an interview and photo shoot with "People" magazine revealing she was fired. Barbara felt betrayed and heartsick because she trusted Star and tried to protect her. Barbara would never have told anyone that Star was fired. Because of her deceptions and the fact that "The View" is a live broadcast, the network could not trust what she might say on the air, and it was decided her services would be terminated immediately."

REYNOLDS: Wow. You know, Larry, that's funny that they would say they can't trust what I would say on the air, because for two months now, remember, I have known every single day that I was fired.

KING: You could have said anything, right? Are you surprised...

REYNOLDS: For two months, I've known. I could have...


REYNOLDS: ... on any given day.

KING: Are you surprised that they are reacting this way?

REYNOLDS: And disheartened is the word. What's interesting is, I was told, you want to know exactly what I was told, I was told whatever you want to say, whatever story you want to make up...

KING: Barbara told me the same thing.

REYNOLDS: ... we will back you up.

KING: Barbara said that to me yesterday.

REYNOLDS: So you know, I'm telling you the God's honest truth.

KING: Then why didn't you just do that and forget the rest?

REYNOLDS: You want me to make up a story?

KING: Well, I'm leaving for whatever reason. A lot of people do that.

REYNOLDS: And then be accused of being dishonest with the viewers. And knowing what has happened in the last two months, Larry, with every leak, every mean-spirited comment, every tabloid speculation, knowing that that's occurred, do you really expect that within the next two weeks, two months, two years, that someone would not have said, you know, she really was fired, we really didn't renew her contract. See what kind of big liar she is?

My viewers, our viewers, deserved the truth. And I gave it to them.

KING: Why didn't you look for another deal starting in April? That would have been a way to go out. I'm leaving now to start my own program.

REYNOLDS: Well, I am going to start my own program.

KING: But you could have done that in April. And that would have been an easy out. Everybody's happy.

REYNOLDS: But Larry, I'm confused about it, and you have to help me, how the first point starts with I'm dishonest. And the last point is, we wanted her to lie. You have to help me with that to reconcile that.

KING: Your network. I'm just telling you what they said.

REYNOLDS: I'm having trouble reconciling about how I'm supposed to be honest and be straightforward to the viewers, and then at the end, I'm supposed to lie because it makes for uncomfortableness.

200,000 people a year get fired. You know what they do? They look at that obstacle and they go towards opportunity. That's what I'm going to do.

KING: Barbara Walters, and I have known her a long time...

REYNOLDS: So have I.

KING: ... she wouldn't lie, would she? Barbara Walters?

REYNOLDS: Well, I think that this story was concocted to protect me and to protect the network, but I don't need to be protected.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with our remaining moments, and we'll ask Star what's next. Don't go away.



REYNOLDS: He said, well, I'm now a producer with Barbara Walters. And she's starting a new show and I would like to submit your name.

KING: And Barbara did the selecting, right?

REYNOLDS: Barbara did the selecting, and that's probably the most brilliant thing, was she put together a group of women, different backgrounds, different experiences.

KING: Occasionally you fight?

REYNOLDS: We fight a lot, you know, but that's family. We may be dysfunctional, but we're still family.


KING: We're running out of time. Brian Frons, the ABC daytime president, whom I know you know, said, "My only regret in this whole situation is that we didn't take care of this last November, when her connection to viewers was at an all-time low, and I told Barbara we had to fire her. If it was done then, there would be no connection to Rosie now."

REYNOLDS: You know, it's so interesting. I'm so surprised that Brian would say that, because if that's what he truly believes, I find it really disheartening that he'd invite me to be his guest at his dinner to celebrate the Daytime Emmys and sat me at his table, to his right, to his left, as his guest. Of all the daytime stars that were there, he asked me to be with him. So I guess my approvals were at an all-time low, but clearly my popularity was at an all-time high.

KING: What did your husband say about all of this?

REYNOLDS: He said, baby, put your stiff upper lip up, on, and you're going to shine.

And I got news for you. I got great people with me and behind me, and viewers who have been so supportive and loving, and that's what I want to say. Thank you. Thank you for nine years.

KING: We have 30 seconds. What are you going to do now?

REYNOLDS: I'm going to work on my new television projects. I'm going to roll my sleeves up and get right back into working on child advocacy, like I've been doing, and I'm going to continue to grow, Larry and become the person that I aspire to be every single day.

KING: So you're not going away quietly into this good night?

REYNOLDS: No, I don't have to pull out that law degree just yet.

KING: Thank you, Star.

Star Jones Reynolds, and that completes this hour of LARRY KING LIVE scene. Tomorrow night, a look at the life and times of the Ramseys. The tragedy of the Ramseys, tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE. What an hour.

Right now, we turn it over to New York City and Anderson Cooper. He'll host "AC 360," and big news breaking, Anderson, on the international scene -- Anderson.