"It was ugly. Everything. It was a bad emotional time. Nasty things were being said in the media," Jones said after her former boss, Barbara Walters, insisted on discussing her exit, when the host abruptly announced she was leaving on the air, then revealed she had been fired by the show.
"I wanted to go out on my own terms so that if I walked back here I'd feel good about it," Jones continued. "I had eight fantastic years here. One was 'eh.' I came back to congratulate you on all you accomplished. I hope you congratulate me on what I accomplished."
Walters and co-host Joy Behar also asked Jones, who was on Wednesday's episode to raise awareness about women's heart health, about her 2003 gastric bypass surgery – and subsequent 160 lb.-weight loss – which she had long kept secret.
"We tried to protect you. We were told, 'Don't say it was gastric [bypass]. Say it was pilates and portion control,' " Behar said, before adding, "You are now a skinny bitch. Congratulations."
"We did lie for you!" Walters added, to which Jones responded, "Who cares? I look good."