Most people applauded Anderson Cooper for coming out publicly this past summer, but Star Jones was decidedly more cynical.
While appearing on "The Professionals" segment of the "Today" show in July, Jones wondered aloud whether Cooper opened up about being gay "for ratings." And the famously private Anderson Live host was not happy with Jones' dig.
On Thursday's episode of his show, Cooper told Bravo's Andy Cohen he was "really pleased with the response" and support he received from fans. But "the only thing that did kind of annoy" Cooper (and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt!) was Jones' accusation.
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"Star Jones of all people," he said. "I haven't thought about Star Jones in I don't know how long. I was unaware she was even on TV still, but she apparently shows up on a morning show...Anyway, out of the blue Star Jones said after I sent this email, Star Jones said this was a ratings ploy by me to boost ratings."
Cohen pointed out that when Cooper came out, he was "off the air, on break!"
"That's why it's so annoying," said Cooper. "If I was wanting to boost ratings, I would've waited to announce it on like 'a very special episode' that would've been promo'd for weeks and weeks. There would've been commercials [that said] 'Anderson's huge announcement,' and you would've had a cutaway of the audience [gasping]. 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," he went on. "I never talked about it. I wasn't even on the air for days afterward. So suddenly Star Jones--who, as memory serves, in terms of boosting ratings I seem to recall her hawking her wedding like 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. 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?'"
Cooper said he invited Jones to appear on "Anderson Live," "and she turned us down!"
"I would think she would want as much publicity as possible," he said, suggesting that Cohen "be the moderator" if Jones changed her mind and wanted to come on the show.
On Thursday, Jones responded to Cooper on Twitter. "I was wrong," she wrote. "@andersoncoooper didn't come out as a ratings ploy. He used ME talking about him coming out @todayshow as a ratings ploy. #mybad"
Yikes. We think there needs to be a face-to-face, Star vs. Silver Fox showdown.
For more of Cooper's interview, tune in to "Anderson Live" Thursday. Check AndersonCooper.com to find out when and where it airs in your city.