Al Reynolds still loves Star Jones
EmptyLOS ANGELES -- Al Reynolds continues to have a soft spot for Star Jones, despite their impending divorce.
"I still very much love her," Reynolds told The Associated Press on Monday. "I do. I can't lie to you."
Jones' soon-to-be ex-husband is opening up about his relationship with the former co-host of ABC's "The View" in an interview being posted Tuesday on YouTube.
"I was approached by a number of media outlets to do interviews, and most of them wanted me to trash my wife," Reynolds told the AP during a telephone interview Monday. "I wasn't interested in participating in the sensationalism."
Instead, the interview was filmed last month at the home of Reynolds' publicist, Howard Bragman. Jones filed for divorce from Reynolds in March after three years of marriage.
Reynolds said his marriage to Jones began to unravel last year when Jones was launching her truTV talk show and Reynolds began teaching at Florida Memorial University in Miami. He said the pair separated in February, and he was served divorce papers in March. Reynolds was surprised when Jones issued a public statement about the dissolution of their marriage in April.
"I don't know if I can point to a specific thing that happened," said Reynolds. "I felt like we started to grow apart. I took a position down in Florida. I started working aggressively on my book. She was trying to get her show off the ground. We were also trying to deal with all the negative stuff after we allowed the media into our marriage."
Reynolds, who now divides his time between New York and Miami, said he's not gay, and the Internet and tabloid speculation about his sexuality -- several bloggers refer to him as "Big Gay Al" -- has damaged his professional reputation. The 37-year-old former banker said he has not dated anyone since the end of his relationship with Jones, nor has he spoken to the former prosecutor.
"I feel like I've still got a little bit of healing to do," said Reynolds. "I'm not sure I could open that emotional side of myself up to anyone else right now. After the divorce is final, I'll probably be a little bit more interested in that. Right now, I'm focusing on teaching and finishing my doctorate degree."
Jones and Reynolds tied the knot in an over-the-top ceremony in November 2004. Jones was criticized for endlessly discussing the wedding and plugging its sponsors on "The View." The negative reaction to the affair, which was attended by guests ranging from Hillary Rodham Clinton to Spike Lee, was cited by Barbara Walters as a reason why Jones' contract wasn't renewed in 2006.
Reynolds -- who is originally from Horse Pasture, Va. -- now agrees the wedding spun out of control but claims he thought such behavior was customary for celebrity nuptials. Reynolds is currently working on a financial help book aimed at the middle-to-low class, and tentatively titled "Bank On It." He says he's not interested in using the divorce as opportunity to fade out of the spotlight.
"I'm not a fade-away type of guy," said Reynolds. "I'm a guy who progresses and moves forward. I was successful before I met Star, and I plan to be successful after Star. I'm in the public eye now. That's the truth. It comes with responsibilities. I'm using it as an opportunity to educate and motivate people.