Anderson's Coming Out: Ratings Ploy?

Anderson Cooper is letting Star Jones have it after the former host of The View said he only came out as a ratings ploy. In "The First 15" segment of Anderson Live he tells viewers in no uncertain terms how ridiculous that is -- and why.

Not many people were surprised when TV journalist Anderson Cooper came out as gay -- the rumors have been out there for years, as have photos of him with his longtime boyfriend -- and considering he didn't make the announcement on-air, no one thought it was a ratings ploy for his then-new show Anderson Live. No one, that is, except Star Jones.

On today's show, Cooper addressed Jones' accusation with guest and friend Andy Cohen.

"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," he told Cohen. "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 who brought it up to me, Star Jones of all people, I know you mentioned it on your show."

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"Star Jones of all people, 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 on Today or Good Morning America, The Today 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, "For this show, which you were off the air, you were on break."

"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 cutaway 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," Cooper explained. "I gave no interviews about it, I never talked about it."

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"I wasn't even on the air for days afterward and so suddenly Star Jones, who as memory serves, in terms of boosting ratings, 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. So for her to suddenly emerge out of the shadows and suddenly attack me for this, I couldn't believe it." Boom.

"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."

Watch the entire exchange today on Anderson Live. Visit AndersonCooper.com for air times in your city.

Image courtesy Andres Otero/ WENN.com

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