Anderson Cooper slams Star Jones over post-coming out comment
Anderson Cooper has fired back at Star Jones who said that his coming out as gay was a ploy for higher ratings.
Jones made her comment on the "Today" show in July, asking if Cooper came out "for ratings." The host told Bravo's Andy Cohen on "Anderson Live" on Thursday, October 4 that he received a lot of support from fans, but was not pleased by Jones' accusation, especially since his show wasn't on air at the time.
"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]," Anderson said. "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."
Cooper came out of the closet publicly as a gay man on July 2, following years of speculation and said that he "couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud."
The popular 45-year-old veteran news reporter, who hosts the CNN show "Anderson Cooper 360" and his own syndicated talk series, "Anderson Live," revealed the news in a letter to The Daily Beast writer Andrew Sullivan, who is openly gay. It was posted on the outlet's website.
"I gave no interviews about it," he continued. "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 [Gloria Vanderbilt] was like, 'Who is Star Jones?'"
Cooper's announcement came days after it was revealed that CNN's ratings during its second quarter of 2012 were the lowest earned by the cable network since 1991. Ratings for its primetime lineup, which includes "Anderson Cooper 360," dropped 41 percent over the past year to some 129,000 viewers among the coveted demographic of people aged 25 to 54, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Star Jones responded to Cooper's criticism on Twitter, but her reaction was far from apologetic.
"I was wrong. @andersoncooper didn't come out as a ratings ploy. He used ME talking about him coming out @todayshow as a ratings ploy. #mybad," Jones Tweeted on October 4.
Watch a clip from Thursday's "Anderson Live" below.