Star Jones, a renowned lawyer, journalist, and television personality, has made significant contributions to the industry throughout her career. With a net worth of $12 million, she has established herself as a prominent figure in the entertainment world. Let’s explore Star Jones’s journey, accomplishments, and philanthropic endeavors.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Star Jones was born in 1962 in Badin, North Carolina. Raised in Trenton, New Jersey, by her mother, a human services administrator, and her stepfather, who worked in municipal security, Jones developed a passion for law and justice. She attended Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, before enrolling at American University in Washington, DC, where she obtained a BA degree in administration of justice. Continuing her education, Jones earned a JD from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the New York state bar in 1987.
Jones began her career as a prosecutor with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York. Her dedication and talent led to a promotion to senior assistant district attorney after five years of service. In 1991, she caught the attention of Court TV, which recruited her as a commentator for the William Kennedy Smith rape trial. This marked the beginning of her journey into the world of media. Jones went on to serve as a legal correspondent for NBC’s “Today” and “Nightly News” and later hosted her own court show called “Jones & Jury” in 1994. This groundbreaking show made her the first black person and first female to arbitrate a television courtroom series. Subsequently, she became the chief legal analyst on “Inside Edition,” where she covered high-profile cases such as the O.J. Simpson murder trial in 1995.
“The View” and Television Success
In 1997, Star Jones embarked on her most significant television role as one of the original co-hosts of the ABC morning talk show “The View.” Alongside Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Meredith Vieira, and Debbie Matenopoulos, Jones engaged in lively discussions on current news topics and interviewed prominent figures from the world of politics and entertainment. Her nine-season tenure on the show was not without controversy, as she faced criticism for her weight loss journey and product endorsements during her wedding to Al Reynolds. Despite the challenges, Jones’s contributions to the show made a lasting impact.
Following her departure from “The View” in 2006, Jones assumed the role of executive editor of daytime programming on truTV. She also hosted her own self-titled weekday talk show, “Star Jones,” where she covered current news from the realms of entertainment, law, and popular culture. Although the show initially showed promise, it was canceled after six months due to its departure from the channel’s tabloid-focused programming.
Other Television Appearances
In addition to her regular hosting roles, Star Jones has made numerous appearances on various television programs. From serving as a red carpet host on the E! network from 2004 to 2005 to guest-hosting shows like HGTV’s “House Hunters,” CNN’s “Larry King Live,” and Oxygen’s reunion episode of “The Bad Girls Club,” Jones has demonstrated her versatility and expertise across different platforms. She has also showcased her acting skills, making appearances as a prosecutor on the season eight finale of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and playing the role of a judge on the legal series “Drop Dead Diva.” As a celebrity contestant, she participated in reality competition shows such as “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” and “The Celebrity Apprentice,” where she achieved fifth place.
Career as an Author
Star Jones has also ventured into the world of writing and publishing. In 1998, she released her first book, “You Have to Stand for Something, or You’ll Fall for Anything,” an autobiographical essay collection. This was followed by “Shine: A Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Journey to Finding Love” in 2006. In 2011, Jones published “Satan’s Sisters,” a fictionalization of “The View,” which later became the basis for a television series called “Daytime Divas” on VH1 in 2017. As an executive producer of the show, Jones made a guest appearance as herself in one of the episodes.
Personal Life and Philanthropy
In 2004, Star Jones married investment banker Al Reynolds, who proposed to her at the NBA All-Star Game. However, their marriage ended in divorce in 2008. In 2017, she got engaged to Ricardo Lugo, a former Cook County assistant state’s attorney, and the couple tied the knot aboard a cruise ship in the Bahamas the following year.
Beyond her professional achievements, Jones is actively involved in philanthropy. She has contributed significantly to the National Association of Professional Women and established the NAPW Foundation, which supports organizations such as the American Heart Association and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Jones also serves as the president of the Professional Diversity Network and plays an essential role in promoting diversity and inclusivity.
Star Jones’s net worth of $12 million is a testament to her successful career as a lawyer, journalist, and television personality. From her early days as a prosecutor to her prominent role on “The View” and her various television appearances, Jones has left an indelible mark on the industry. Through her writing and philanthropy, she continues to inspire and make a positive impact on the lives of others.