You could argue, as children might, that Star started it by not being a good girlfriend in the first place. Good girlfriends don't promote themselves at the expense of their friendships. (Respondents to a recent poll by the social networking site Sisterwoman.com named Jones Reynolds as "worst celebrity girlfriend." "She's way too self absorbed and completely vain," said one.)
Jones Reynolds, a former Brooklyn assistant district attorney who came to prominence as a commentator for the O.J. Simpson murder trial, had become a parody of self-promotion. Her "View" girlfriends had to remind her to stop talking about herself, as Vieira did recently when Jones Reynolds called the show from her sick bed after complications from a breast lift. "OK, Star, that's enough about you! On to us! Bye!" (Some news outlets reported that Jones Reynolds called Behar the b-word at the end of the conversation. That's so not girlfriendish.)
Todd Boyd, a professor of critical studies in the USC School of Cinema and Television, said that Jones Reynolds was done in by her incessant selfregard. "I think Star began to confuse her visibility with likability." He recalled with a shudder the marriage proposal she received from Al Reynolds at the 2004 NBA All-Star game. "I thought it was ridiculous, and if it wasn't so pitiful, it might be funny."
It wasn't just the proposal that turned people off. There was the incredibly tacky way she flogged her wedding suppliers, who gave her freebies in exchange for on-air plugs until ABC asked her to cease and desist. And of course, there was her wedding website, starandal.com, with its lavish gift registry. When she wasn't promoting herself, she was on a book tour telling women how to reach their goals, but playing coy about how she reached hers.
This infuriated O'Donnell. (Never lie to a reformed liar, if you know what's good for you.) O'Donnell went after Jones Reynolds, on her website in free verse, no less: "Star Jones had weight loss surgery / She had part of her stomach bypassed / that is how she lost 1/2 herself / she refuses to say this / which is her right/but we do not have to pretend we do not know."
Nor do we have to pretend we don't know that Rosie O'Donnell never really loved Tom Cruise, that Star Jones Reynolds was fired and, perhaps saddest of all, that Barbara Walters is a liar. I don't know whether to meow or yawn.