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Anderson Cooper has a beef with Star Jones for saying that he came out to boost his daytime talk show’s ratings.
Cooper, who moonlights as news anchor on CNN’s Anderson 360, voiced his issues with Jones in conversation with pal Andy Cohen on Thursday’s Anderson Live, now in its second season of syndication.
“I was really pleased with the response, it’s nice,” he said of announcing he’s gay in a letter to The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan, posted July 2. “I think it’s important to send a message to, especially young people, there’s nothing to be ashamed of and you can be successful and you can have a life and you can have many interests and this is one part of your life.”
Then he shifted the discussion to Jones, a former co-host of ABC’s The View who now makes regular appearances as a pundit on Today. The day after Cooper’s announcement, Jones remarked on the NBC morning show: “When the ratings slip in daytime, the hosts tend to tell you lots of things about them.”
VIDEO: Anderson Cooper Explains Timing of Decision to Come Out
“I will say and I actually haven’t mentioned this, the only thing that did kind of annoy me and actually it annoyed my mom (Gloria Vanderbilt) who brought it up to me” were Jones’ comments, Cooper said. “I haven’t thought about Star Jones in I don’t know how long. I was unaware she was even on TV but she apparently shows up on a morning show on Today or Good Morning America … .”
When Cohen, a Bravo executive and host of the network’s Watch What Happens, mentioned that Anderson Live had been on break, Cooper responded: “That’s why it so annoyed me because of all the ways to boost ratings, like if I was wanting to boost ratings I would have waited to announce it on a very special episode, that would have been promo’d for weeks and weeks and there would have been commercials, ‘Anderson’s huge announcement,’ and you would have a cut away of the audience but instead I was in Africa on assignment for 60 Minutes, I sent an email to a friend of mine who put it on a website. I gave no interviews about it, I never talked about it.”
The Warner Bros.-distributed Anderson Live underwent a season-two makeover with a new name, new set and new live format in addition to rotating co-hosts, ramping up efforts to increase ratings and relevance.
As for Jones, “I seem to recall her hocking her wedding every single day to get free products when she was on The View and I seem to recall her lying about her gastric bypass surgery and making everybody else lie about it as well,” Cooper observed. “So for her to suddenly emerge out of the shadows and suddenly attack me for this, I couldn’t believe it. And my mom was like, ‘Who is Star Jones?'”
He continued: “Anyway, so I can’t even believe I am bringing this up because I don’t even want to give Star Jones the attention. I never planned on talking about this but we invited Star Jones to come on this show and she turned us down.”
A rep for Jones didn’t immediately respond to THR‘s request for comment.
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