Barbara Walters Defends Tom Cruise, Chides Prince Harry on ‘The View’ Premiere

The View (ABC)

The ladies of “The View” returned from summer hiatus on Tuesday to kick off the show’s 16th season – and boy did they have plenty to discuss.

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Before the hosts even had the chance to say hello to the audience, Sherri Shepherd made sure to take note of co-host Whoopi Goldberg’s unusual heels. “Those boots that you have on are so nasty and sick,” exclaimed Shepherd. Added Goldberg, “I got some bad ass shoes!” While the ladies could have spent the entire hour lavishing praise on each other’s style, including Shepherd’s new jet-black pixie cut, with a month’s worth of backlogged hot topics, there wasn’t a minute to waste.

Moving on to some juicier gossip, Goldberg mentioned a story in this month’s issue of Vanity Fair, which mentions the lingering rumor that Tom Cruise auditioned wives before marrying recent ex Katie Holmes. The piece, which has been vehemently denied by the Church of Scientology, seemed to strike a chord with Barbara Walters, who jumped to the actor’s defense. “I don’t believe any of this stuff, okay?” she sternly asserted. “I think it is his religion and his faith, whether you like it or don’t like, the way Romney is Mormon and somebody else is Christian. Tom Cruise is one of the nicest men – people – I have ever known,” she added. “He is a decent, hard-working man. Anyone who works with him on the set says how terrific he is.”

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While the show started on a demure note, it wouldn’t be “The View” if the hosts didn’t delve into some racier material. Goldberg announced Prince Harry’s first appearance post-nude party scandal, a topic that seemed near and dear to the whole group. “I thought he looked good,” Whoopi joked.

“Why don’t we have any pictures of him naked? I want to see them!” added Joy Behar.

Always the voice of reason, Walters countered, “If you want to be a private citizen, give up your title, give up the allowance you get, give up the place that you live in, if you are going to be a member of royalty with a certain kind of dignity and responsibility, then you don’t go to Las Vegas and parade around in the nude. Do one or the other, guy!”

“His brother can play by the rules! He can go have fun!” responded the normally conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Only one episode into the season and they’ve already covered sex, shoes, and Scientology. Welcome back, ladies.

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