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Star Jones Returns to The View Six Years After Nasty Exit

USMagazine, Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 9:38am (PST)

Star Jones returned to The View's couch Wednesday six years after her abrupt exit and sure had a few hot topics to get off her chest.

Taking part in two segments, Jones, 49, was welcomed with open arms by current cohosts Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd. "I can say this genuinely: I am so happy to welcome back Star Jones!" Walters, 82, gushed to viewers when introducing her former colleague Wednesday.

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After the women exchanged pleasantries, Jones detailed her motivations behind announcing her plans to leave The View in 2006 in a surprise segment instead of going ahead with the pre-planned reveal she and Walters had agreed upon.

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"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," Jones said. "I made the decision to go out on my own terms, to control it, so that if I was ever invited back, I would feel good about it."

"To say we were surprised is putting it mildly," Walters reasoned, admitting to viewers that Jones' contract was simply not renewed.

During her Wednesday appearance -- which she also used to raise awareness of heart disease -- Jones thanked the View women for going to bat for her during her 2003 gastric bypass surgery.

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Jones knew asking her colleagues to specifically withhold information about her surgery and instead tell viewers she shed the weight through diet and Pilates was a tall order, but one The View's Walters was happy to agree to.

"Because we loved you, we did lie," Walters told Jones.

Putting their differences aside, Behar was among the first to applaud Jones' 160 pound weight loss, regardless of the circumstances. "You're now a skinny bitch," she joked. "Congratulations!"

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