Star Jones Addresses Claims That Barbara Walters & Joy Behar Sabotaged Her Career By Leaking Gastric Bypa

Nearly every previous panelist of The View is airing their dirty laundry in Ramin Setoodeh’s upcoming book, Ladies Who Punch — and you better believe Star Jones is getting in on the action!

The former cohost, who was fired from the ABC morning show in 2006, seemingly accused Barbara Walters and Joy Behar of leaking the news of her 2007 gastric bypass surgery to the tabloids before she was ready to go public with it in an effort to sabotage her career.

At least, that’s what the author took from his interview with Jones, who was an OG cohost when the show first launched in 1997.

Appearing on Wednesday’s episode of Watch What Happens Live to promote his upcoming book, Setoodeh dished to Andy Cohen:

“Star Jones said as she was being fired in 2006, both Barbara Walters and Joy Behar were leaking stories of her gastric bypass to The New York Post to ruin her reputation.”

Dang. If true, that’s no punch… that’s a push down the stairs!

But Jones wasn’t about to go down without a push back: the author went on to say that Jones had hired crisis manager Judy Smith — the inspiration for Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope on Scandal — to orchestrate her surprise exit from the popular talk show.

Apparently, Jones’ departure announcement in July 2006 had been scheduled for two days later. But with the help of Smith, the TV personality shocked everyone on the panel when she announced she was leaving on her own terms.

As viewers will remember, Babs didn’t appreciate Star’s surprise announcement. The cohost was absent from the show the next day, with Walters reading a statement explaining that she decided not to “leave with dignity” and had made it “uncomfortable for us to pretend that everything is the same at the table.”

Watch a clip of Setoodeh on WWHL (below) to hear more.

Despite what sabotage efforts may or may not have occurred, the 57-year-old had nothing but kind things to say about Walters — her “mentor” — in response to the claims she made in the book.

She told People in a statement:

“My time at The View was one of the great opportunities of my lifetime. Of course there were conflicts over the years, however I will forever consider Barbara Walters (along with my dear friend, the late Johnny Cochran) to be one of my two most influential mentors. The opportunity to sit beside her for so many years was a ‘master class’ in many aspects of my personal and professional life that I relish and am eternally grateful for.”

Polite shade is the best kind of shade!

Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story Of “The View” hits shelves on April 2.

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