NEW YORK – Controversy is blooming over Star Jones (search) and her rooftop gardener.
Seems the plucky freebie queen takes a dim "view" to paying her bills — at least where one man is concerned.
A New York gardener says Jones owes him over $7,000 for work he did on her Manhattan rooftop garden.
He says Jones promised him a mention in a magazine article. When that didn't take seed, he sent a bill — and she offered an autographed picture as payment, he says.
That's right, an 8-by-10-inch glossy. No signature on a check, mind you, just on a publicity still.
The gardener says he's not running a diner. He wants to be paid in something besides photographs.
"We'd just like to see our bill paid," says gardener Dimitri Gatanas (search). "That's what we asked for a very long time ago. We don't see why we have to get into a whole rigmarole about getting paid."
"It's a very simple thing," he adds. "We didn't get the credit. Pay us."
Jones claims in a counter-lawsuit that the work he did caused a leak in her apartment. Her lawyer says the gardener has no business billing for this because he's not licensed to build rooftop gardens.
On the "The View" Wednesday, the woman who got most of her lavish wedding paid for by corporate sponsors was quiet — or should I say "mum" — on the topic.