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On Feb. 4, legendary lawyer and TV personality Star Jones filled in as a guest host on The View as the show celebrated its 25th anniversary.

If you remember, Jones was one of the original hosts of the daytime talk show series in 1997, chatting alongside The View’s creator Barbara Walters, Meredith Vieira, Debbie Matenopoulos, and Joy Behar, who still remains on the show today. The Apprentice alum’s tenure with the series lasted until 2006, but Jones has made a number of guest appearances over the years.

“That’s my home. It will always be my home,” the star told PEOPLE. “I love the ladies that are there on The View. More importantly, I have a greater appreciation for my long-term mentor, and as most women in the business would say their mentor, Barbara Walters because she made diversity a front-burner issue when it wasn’t popular,” the womens rights advocate continued.

The View first premiered in 1997 and has featured a diverse panel of female commentators throughout its existence. The show has given women an open platform and safe place to discuss a myriad of topics from health and wellness to entertainment and politics.

Jones’ guest appearance for the show’s quarter-century milestone came just in time for National Wear Red Day, a special holiday that brings awareness to the ever-growing issue of heart disease.  The cast of The View joined the 59-year-old in wearing red to support the cause. Jones told fans on Instagram that next month will mark 12 years since she received life-changing open-heart surgery for her battle with Aortic valve disease, a condition where the valve between the lower left heart chamber and the body’s main artery malfunctions, causing blood to flow backward, the Heart Organization notes.

“I’m so proud @theviewabc girls joined me in wearing red today on #wearredday for #GoRedForWomen to bring awareness to #heartdisease for women, and allowing me to share why it’s so personal for me….” she added in her caption.

RELATED CONTENT: Healthy Heart: Star Jones Didn’t Take Her Heart Health Seriously — Until She Required Open-Heart Surgery

The TV personality’s appearance came days after Whoopi Goldberg was slammed with a two-week suspension for her comments regarding the Holocaust. While speaking to PEOPLE, Jones shared her thoughts on the controversy.

“We can talk about each other. Y’all can’t talk about us, OK?” Jones said of Goldberg, adding: “Whoopi and I have been friends for so long, it’s unbelievable.”

The 66-year-old actress was suspended for stating that “the Holocaust wasn’t about race” as she engaged in a discussion with co-hosts Sunny Hostin, Joy Behar, and Ana Navarro about a Tennesee school board’s decision to ban the award-winning graphic novel, Maus. Whoopi has since apologized “for the hurt” she caused “Jewish people around the world.” A day after the incident occurred on Jan. 31, The View veteran also invited Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt to discuss why her comment was problematic. The ADL has since accepted her apology, PEOPLE noted,  but Goldberg is reportedly fuming at ABC’s executives for their harsh punishment.
“Her ego has been hurt and she’s telling people she’s going to quit,” a source close to Goldberg told The New York Post, especially since she followed ABC’s “playbook.”
The insider added.
“She went on ‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ and then apologized again on ‘The View’ the next day.”
Sunny Hostin, Joy Behar, and Ana Navarro are also allegedly livid about the network’s decision. Navarro told The Daily Beast in a statement that she was saddened and shocked following the news.

“I love Whoopi Goldberg. I love The View. This was an incredibly unfortunate incident. Whoopi is a lifelong ally to the Jewish community. She is not an antisemite. Period. I am sad. And I have nothing else to say,” Navarro commented.

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