Star Jones Responds to NeNe Leakes Drama and Barbara Walters' Heart Special
By Jillian Bowe on February 16, 2011
Diva du jour Star Jones dished to Black Voices about her former employer Barbara Walters' ABC special report n heart disease. Ms. Jones didn't seem to like Babs' lineup for A Matter of Life and Death and gave her take on the program.
Black Voices: Speaking of Barbara, she had a heart surgery special on ABC recently called 'A Matter of Life and Death' that featured President Bill Clinton, David Letterman, Regis Philbin, Charlie Rose and Robin Williams. You also had heart surgery a year ago, why don't you think she asked you to participate?
Star Jones: Normally I would say: "Now, Jawn, don't try to start anything." However, this time it really isn't about me, but about the new face of heart disease. This disease is no longer your old white man's disease. It is the number one killer of women and the number one killer of African Americans. Heart disease kills more women and blacks than the next four causes of death combined. I had open heart surgery a little less than a year ago, and regardless if it was my "heart story" or someone else's, by not being more inclusive, BW missed a tremendous opportunity to educate, inform and influence the actual people that cardiovascular disease is affecting.
Jones also opened up about her stint on the upcoming season of Celebrity Apprentice and her feud with The Real Housewives of Atlanta's NeNe Leakes.
BV: You are featured on the new season of 'Celebrity Apprentice' and the charity that you compete for is the American Heart Association. The show is getting a ton of pre-press mainly because Nene Leakes has been doing interviews about you. What went wrong with you and NeNe?
SJ:This actually saddens me. Black women trashing other black women all for the sake of personal aggrandizement. When the cast was first announced, I was both excited and concerned. Excited that this was going to be the most diverse cast in prime-time reality programming and concerned because the media immediately started the drumroll of "can this many black women get along?" The four of us actually chatted about the unique opportunity we had to influence the perception of black women and the way we interact. We each brought something different to the show, so I had hoped we could avoid falling into the typical "snake charmer in your face loud bombastic black woman" stereotypical box that was expected. Some of us were more successful at our quest than others. I knew I wanted to approach the game intelligently, professionally and strategically, while keeping in mind my true purpose for being there – winning money for my charity.
Keep it classy Ms. Jones!