Star Jones on Returning to 'The View' as Guest Host for 25th Anniversary: 'That's My Home'

"I love the ladies that are there on The View," Star Jones tells PEOPLE amid her return as a guest co-host for the daytime talk show's 25th anniversary

Star Jones is gearing up for a homecoming on The View, which has been a quarter century in the making.

The TV personality, 59, shared her excitement with PEOPLE (the TV Show!) correspondent Jeremy Parsons over returning to her "home" on the daytime talk show for its 25th anniversary season. She even discussed Whoopi Goldberg just prior to her two-week suspension.

"We can talk about each other. Y'all can't talk about us, OK?" Jones said of her fellow The View alumni, adding: "Whoopi and I have been friends for so long, it's unbelievable."

Jones filled in as a guest co-host on Friday's episode, years after starting as one of the show's original five panelists in 1997 alongside Joy Behar, Meredith Vieira, Debbie Matenopoulos, and creator Barbara Walters. Her original run on the show lasted for nine seasons until her exit in 2006, but she's often returned as a guest over the years.

"That's my home. It will always be my home. I love the ladies that are there on The View," the American Heart Association national volunteer raved, noting how she started on the show alongside current co-host Behar, and that Sunny Hostin is a sorority sister of hers.

the view season 1
Season 1 of The View. Steve Fenn/ABC

"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," Jones added.

In addition to Jones' appearance, Vieira, 68, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck are returning to the show this month as guests to help celebrate The View's milestone 25th season.

RELATED VIDEO: Whoopi Goldberg Suspended at The View After 'Wrong and Hurtful' Holocaust Comments

Since Walters, 92, launched The View in 1997, the show has seen a rotating panel of female commentators over the years. However, its format has mostly remained the same, with a panel of women from diverse backgrounds discussing the day's "Hot Topics" and news.

Jones' return comes after Goldberg, 66, was suspended this week for inaccurately asserting that the "Holocaust isn't about race" during a discussion about a Tennessee school board's ban of the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel Maus.

She apologized on the show the next day and provided a platform for Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. The ADL has since accepted her apology.

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