Star's new view
NEW YORK -- Fair or not, Star Jones Reynolds has long been labeled a diva -- a perception that has often led to negative publicity.
There was that hasty departure from "The View" last summer. The lavish wedding to her husband, Al, which she promoted relentlessly on the ABC gabfest. And her refusal to confirm or deny a rumored gastric bypass surgery.
But these days, Reynolds, 44, is trying to put that image behind her as she attempts to shape her post-"View" future.
"This is a new chapter, a new beginning. . . . Absolute new Star," she said Wednesday in a phone interview. " [A] very happy, healthy Star whose connection is through her family, through her community, and completely in touch with what matters in life."
She's appearing next week -- Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, to be exact -- as a guest host on "The Michael Eric Dyson Show," a syndicated talk show owned by the
But she's the Star Jones Reynolds -- She's got the gift of gab! She's saucy! She's opinionated! Reynolds doesn't seem like the kind of person who would get the jitters.
"I'm just like the rest of you and everybody else," she said. "I want people to know that I'm connected at the hip, right with them."
Reynolds, a lawyer, began her television career in 1991 as an analyst for Court TV, and appeared on other shows, including her own, "Jones & Jury," before landing on "The View" in 1997.
She announced in June she was leaving "The View" because ABC wasn't renewing her contract, drawing the ire of show creator Barbara Walters when the announcement wasn't planned in advance. At the time, ABC said it let Reynolds go because its research showed her weight loss and highly publicized wedding turned viewers off.
Reynolds hasn't been seen much on TV since then.
"I miss the opportunity to connect," Reynolds said of having a regular television gig. "I was the host who liked to go into the audience, and that's why this radio show gives me exactly what I miss. . . . I still have a lot to say, and I hope that people still wanna hear it."
With her temporary radio gig on Dyson's three-hour show, which airs at 10 a.m. , Reynolds intends to talk about "real life issues," current events , and her personal experiences. There's going to be an "Ask the Lawyer" segment ("You know that," she says laughing).
"This is the first time I'm going to be hosting a radio show all on my own, not as a guest," she says.
"And you know the old saying -- just because you make a good guest, doesn't mean you'd make a great host. So this is a really wonderful opportunity for me to just talk to people about things that matter in their lives. For the first time, people will be able to get to me directly, and let's just go for it."
Reynolds, who is producing a "year-end review of 2006" special for the black cable channel TV One, is a "busy woman." Too busy, she says, to turn on "The View," which is again making headlines with host Rosie O'Donnell, or even the "Today" show to watch "View" veteran Meredith Vieira banter with Matt Lauer.
"You have to forgive me," she says. "I'm not watching television! Right now, I'm working my rear end off."
FROM WIRE REPORTS