Star Jones is an American lawyer and television personality best known for co-hosting the ABC weekday morning talk show The View, from 1997-2006.
Born Starlet Marie Jones in Badin, North Carolina, Star moved to New Jersey as a small child where she graduated from Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
She earned a B.A. degree in The Administration of Justice at American University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Houston Law Centre. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
Jones was recruited by Court TV in 1991 as a commentator for the William Kennedy Smith rape trial, and spent several years as a legal correspondent for NBC's Today and NBC Nightly News.
She left NBC in 1994 to host her own court show Jones & Jury. Although the show was canceled after one year, Jones quickly was signed up as chief legal analyst on Inside Edition, where she was assigned to lead the coverage of the O.J. Simpson murder trial and was the only reporter to interview Simpson during his civil trial.
In 1997, Jones joined The View as a co-host, a role that increased her public exposure significantly. She was The View's first African-American co-host.
On June 27, 2006, Jones officially reported that she would be leaving The View after nine seasons as co-host. She told People Magazine that the decision to leave was not her own. She found out her contract would not be renewed just days before Rosie O'Donnell's addition to the show was announced.
The following day, Barbara Walters, claiming she had been "blindsided", announced that effective immediately Jones no longer would appear on The View, except for segments that had already been pre-taped—which proved to be minimal.
When the series went into summer reruns, only programs in which she had been absent from the panel were rebroadcast. Jones was removed from the opening credits, leaving only Walters, Joy Behar, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
In addition to being removed from the credits, Jones was immediately removed from the ABC.com website.
Shortly after, Jones joined Larry King on his talk show to defend her position and respond to questions about why ABC had refused to renew her contract.
The network claimed that not only did Jones's excessive reports about her wedding plans alienate viewers, but her acceptance of clothing and merchandise for the event, in exchange for mentions on The View, was in violation of network policy.
When questioned about these issues by King, Jones adamantly stated that every mention of her wedding and those connected to it on The View was specifically approved and negotiated by the network themselves, clearly not in violation of any policy.
She also reminded viewers that the ratings during that time were the highest ratings The View had in the nine years she was a co-host.
Media reports on March 7, 2007 stated that Star Jones would return to truTV (formerly Court TV) as the new Executive Editor of their Daytime Programming and would host a live weekday talk show based on the law and pop culture. It premiered on August 20.
On January 31, 2008, it was announced that Jones and truTV has mutually decided to end their relationship as the network made changes in their programming selection. The final episode of The Star Jones program aired on February 1, 2008.
From September 2004 to September 2005, Jones was a red-carpet host for the E! television network, conducting interviews at awards shows. Jones and E! declined to renew her contract after one year.
On April 2, 2007, she sat in as host of Larry King Live, interviewing Beyoncé Knowles while Larry was on vacation.
She appeared in "Screwed," the eighth season finale of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. While her character was also named Star Jones, she was not playing herself, but rather a prosecuting attorney from Brooklyn — a position she held earlier in her career.
She hosted Oxygen Network's hit television The Bad Girls Club reunion episode, which aired on May 20, 2008.
Jones has written two books. The first, You Have to Stand for Something, or You'll Fall for Anything, is a collection of autobiographical essays published in 1998. In January 2006, Jones published her second book, Shine: A Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Journey to Finding Love, detailing changes she made to re-shape her life, including her marriage and dramatic weight loss.
Jones married investment banker Al Reynolds on November 13, 2004. The much-publicized wedding was held at Saint Bartholomew's Church in New York City in front of 500 guests, and featured three matrons of honor, 12 bridesmaids, two junior bridesmaids, three best men, 12 groomsmen, three junior groomsmen, six footmen, four ring bearers and four flower girls.
More than 30 corporate "sponsors" donated wedding attire and merchandise for the event, in exchange for mentions in the media and on Jones' website. WE: Women's Entertainment named Jones Reynolds the top bridezilla of 2004.
Immediately after the wedding, Jones added her husband's last name to her own and began using Star Jones Reynolds professionally. In an interview in the August 24, 2007 issue of Entertainment Weekly, she explained she reverted to Star Jones professionally in order to keep her public persona separate from her private self.
In 2006, she was a guest on Bob and the Showgram on WDCG 105.1 FM in Raleigh, North Carolina, and when asked about her gastric bypass surgery, she denied having the surgery.
However, in a September 2007 interview in Glamour magazine, she revealed she had gastric bypass surgery in August 2003, resulting in a loss of 160 pounds over three years.
On March 9, 2008, MSNBC reported that Jones and Reynolds were "calling it quits."
Three years after her marriage to banker Al Reynolds, Jones filed divorce papers March 26, 2008 in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan.