*Debbie Matenopoulos, one of the original hosts of “The View,” says she knew early on that Star Jones loved getting free products in exchange for plugging them inappropriately on the show – a maneuver that is rumored to have contributed to Jones’ dismissal from the daytime talk show.

Debbie Matenopoulos

“I want on vacation with Star and when we returned she mentioned everything on the show,” Debbie says on the HDNet show, ‘Naughty But Nice With Rob.’ “I was so young and had no idea how TV worked, but even I knew it wasn’t right, getting all this free stuff and in return plugging it on air.”

Jones got a lot of heat for using “View” airtime to plug products she got for free for her 2004 wedding.

Before she walked down the aisle toward Al Reynolds, Star  received donated invitations (from Encore Studios and The Stationery Studio), tuxedos (Sarno & Son) and bridesmaids’ gowns (Lazaro Bridal). According to the couple’s wedding Web site (www.starandal.com), they even had an “official airline of our wedding weekend” (Continental).

In return, the suppliers received public mentions, or plugs, for their products.

Jones always denied wrongdoing. A show spokesman at the time unsuccessfully argued that Jones’ plugs on “The View” followed federal regulations –which prohibit on-air mentions in exchange for products.