Why Debbie Matenopoulos Left ‘The Daily 10’ Despite Being Told ‘You Are Ruining Your Career’

Debbie Matenopoulos hit the airwaves when Barbara Walters hired her to join The View in 1997. After being fired in 1999, the NYU graduate continued in television and landed a seat on E!’s The Daily 10 in 2006. A family crisis prompted the TV personality to leave her high-profile job, where she received a warning rather than support.

Debbie Matenopoulos
Debbie Matenopoulos | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Debbie Matenopoulos joined ‘The Daily 10’ in 2006

The Daily 10 covered a range of topics in entertainment news including fashion, film, and the latest celebrity gossip. In 2006, Matenopoulos anchored the E! show alongside Sal Masekela and Catt Sadler. She recently described how she had to provide some not-so-flattering details on A-listers and didn’t enjoy spreading negative publicity.

“When I got to E! a lot of the stuff we had to report on, I was thinking, ‘C’mon, this is so not right and not nice’,” Matenopoulos told Allison Kugel on the Allison Interviews podcast. “I said to the producers, ‘So, I’m supposed to now deliver this to people at home about somebody? Who’s going out with who? Who’s having sex with who? God y’all, this is hard.’”

When approaching celebs with questions, Matenoopoulos tried to forewarn them that she may venture into some unwelcome territory.

“When I would do the interviews, I knew a lot of the [celebrities] from my time on The View,” she explained. “Before I would get mic’d up, I would say to them, ‘Look, I have to ask you this. You don’t have to answer me, but I can’t go back to my boss without asking you this, but I really don’t want to. This is an awful question.’”

RELATED: This Former Co-Host of ‘The View’ Tells Herself ‘You Poor Thing’ When She Looks Back At Her Time on the Show

‘The Daily 10’ alum left her job to care for her father

Matenopoulos father, Nicolaos, was stricken with ALS during her tenure on The Daily 10. The TV personality wanted to tend to her dad with the time he had left rather than staying on the show. She was met with a stinging response.

“I left Hollywood and I went home,” she remarked. “I quit [my career] for three years – I quit E! and they said to me, ‘Are you crazy? You are ruining your career. No one is going to hire you when you come back.’” 

The entertainment co-host disregarded the negative comments and prioritized her father’s care over her career.

“I said, ‘I don’t really care’,” Matenopoulos recalled. “‘If you don’t hire me when I come back because I went to take care of my dad, I don’t want to work for you. That is just disgusting. What kind of human are you?’ I don’t want to work for a company like that.”

Debbie Matenopoulos has no regrets on leaving E!

The View alum took care of her father until he died in 2012. Matenopoulos described the suffering that ALS patients have to endure.

“It’s such a hateful disease,” she told Kugel. “With ALS, the person knows what is happening to them, and they are a prisoner in their own body. They do understand what’s going on, and there is nothing they can do about it. He couldn’t move at the end. I fed him, I bathed him, I would have to pick him up.”

Matenopoulos clearly does not regret her decision on quitting The Daily 10, pointing out that her family will always come before a job.

“I have one dad,” she said. “There will be a gazillion shows, and you know what, I don’t want to grieve, thinking I worked at E!, but I didn’t go home to take care of my dad.”

RELATED: ‘The View:’ Why Former Panelist Debbie Matenopoulos Says She Felt ‘Super Betrayed’ By Co-Host Star Jones