Star Jones was in town Friday night promoting her new novel, Satan's Sisters, a fictitious behind-the-scenes look at the sordid lives and conflicting personalities of five women who host a daytime talk show.
After lap-band surgery, shedding 160 pounds -- "a whole person," she said -- and open heart surgery, the American Heart Association National Volunteer was a picture of health and fabulousness in a form-fitting red dress, bedazzled high-heels and pearls.
She was fun to watch and listen to; admitting to being vain and suggesting that many of the characters' personality flaws in her book were reflections of her own shortcomings. She tossed her hair after every other sentence or so and took thinly-veiled, unspecified jabs at nameless people, leaving the audience to guess who of her co-hosts during her nine years on ABC's The View she may have been referring to. She was every bit the smart, charming, devilish diva one might imagine Star Jones to be.
About 60 people gathered in the second floor space at Barnes and Noble Lincoln Park to hear the prosecutor-turned-journalist-turned talk show host-turned reality star read excerpts from her book before opening the floor up to questions.
"We can talk about the book or anything else going on with me," she encouraged the crowd; then took questions from an audience primarily interested in her most recent gig as a contestant on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice and her time at The View.
Then things got interesting.
As background, Jones' publicist assured me an interview with the Star prior to the event. But 6 o'clock came and went and I didn't get the phone call. I called the publicist. She had gotten her wires crossed, but promised me a few minutes with Star after her reading. Cool. But then I got a call back. An interview after the event wasn't going to work; I'd have to ask my questions aloud during the open Q&A session.
Sure, I had questions about her book, but honestly I wanted to know what most people there wanted to know: Were you afraid NeNe Leakes was gon' whoop yo' ass? Did you ever accidentally call LaToya Michael and what do you think about Trump's insistence on seeing Obama's birth certificate and his headline-making reference to "the blacks."
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Inquiring minds wanna know, ya know.
I decided to 86 questions one and two, but since she speaks so highly of Trump, even calling him a mentor during her talk, I was curious about what the self-proclaimed democratic strategist thought about the Donald's statements. Plus, now lumped in with the audience questions, there might only be one chance to get to that juicy question.
So I asked her. And she didn't like it. And she let it be known. Got all prickly with me and told me I should ask Trump. Said her reading wasn't the place and offered up a vehement, "Next question."
Where's NeNe when I need her?