Photo Credit: Ida Mae Astute/ABC
The longstanding feud between Star Jones and Barbara Walters came to an end today, as Jones returned to The View for the first time in nearly six years. Jones, one of the chat show's original hosts, was fired by ABC in June 2006; the bad blood with Walters began when Jones interrupted a live show to announce her departure, rather than doing it during a planned segment. But Walters, 82, was all smiles when her former colleague returned on Wednesday.
"I can say this genuinely: I am so happy to welcome back Star Jones!" announced Walters.
Jones visited the show to talk about heart disease, but it wasn't long before the ladies addressed her departure from The View after nine years. (Watch the video below.)
"It was ugly. Everything. It was a bad emotional time. Nasty things were being said in the media," said Jones, 49. "I take full responsibility for my own behavior, but I won't take responsibility if I did not make a decision I couldn't live with. I wanted to go out on my own terms so that if I walked back here I'd feel good about it."
"To say we were surprised is putting it mildly," Walters responded.
One of the controversies that may have led to Jones' dismissal was her refusal to reveal that her sudden, 160-pound weight loss in 2003 was the result of gastric bypass surgery. During Wednesday's visit, Joy Behar revealed that Jones asked her cohosts to lie on her behalf.
"We tried to protect you," said Behar, 69. "We were told, 'Don't say it was gastric (bypass). Say it was Pilates and portion control.'"
"Because we loved you, we did lie," agreed Walters -- to which Jones replied, "Who cares? I look good."
Since leaving the show, Jones has been engaged in a vicious back-and-forth with Walters and her former View colleagues. In 2008, she called the ladies "hateful" and "mean-spirited." Walters wrote negative things about Jones in her memoir Audition; Jones shot back by publishing Satan's Sisters, a thinly-veiled work of fiction about back-stabbing talk show hosts. It's nice to see all that bitterness put aside, especially for a good cause: Both women have had heart surgery in recent years, and are trying to raise awareness of heart disease among women.