Julie Chen Moonves Reveals She Was Fired From "The Talk"
"I felt stabbed in the back," the Big Brother host said.
After eight seasons as one of the original co-hosts of The Talk, Julie Chen Moonves left the show in 2018 soon after her husband Les Moonves, the former CEO of CBS, was accused of sexual assault and harassment by multiple women. At the time, the TV presenter told the public that her departure from the show was her decision. But in her new memoir, Chen Moonves claims that she was actually fired from the CBS talk show and felt "stabbed in the back."
The 53-year-old writes about the shakeup in her book, But First, God, and she also opened up about it in a recent interview with Good Morning America. Read on to see what Chen Moonves had to say about being pushed out of The Talk and about the allegations against her husband of nearly 20 years.
Chen Moonves left The Talk in 2018.
Chen Moonves announced that she was leaving The Talk in September 2018, not long into the ninth season of the show. Introducing a prerecorded video message from Chen Moonves, co-host Eve noted that the long-time host hadn't been back since the show premiered a week earlier and that it would be the first time any of the hosts would see her video announcement.
"The cast, crew, and staff have become family to me over the years," Chen Moonves says in the clip. "But right now, I need to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son, so I've decided to leave The Talk." She goes on to thank her co-hosts, the viewers, and the crew at the show in the short address.
She departed amid allegations against her husband.
Chen Moonves departed The Talk a few months after sexual assault allegations against Moonves were initially reported. Six women claimed that Moonves had sexually harassed or assaulted them in an article published by The New Yorker in July 2018. By September, the number of accusers had risen to 12. At this point, Moonves stepped down as chairman and CEO of CBS, though he denied the allegations.
"Untrue allegations from decades ago are now being made against me that are not consistent with who I am," he said in a statement, as reported by NBC News. "Effective immediately I will no longer be chairman and chief executive officer of CBS. I am deeply saddened to be leaving the company. I wish nothing but the best for the organization, the newly comprised board of directors and all of its employees."
Chen Moonves now says that she was forced to leave The Talk.
"Yeah, I never revealed that until But First, God," Chen Moonves told Good Morning America of her departure from The Talk in a Sept. 18 interview. "That was a hard time. I felt stabbed in the back. I was, you know?"
Asked about coming to terms with what happened, she said, "I don't know if I could've reconciled if I didn't have God in my life."
At the time, CBS released a statement about Chen Moonves leaving the show, as reported by Variety. "All of us here have tremendous appreciation for the dedication and passion she brought to the show every day and for her generous role as an ambassador for CBS Daytime," it reads in part. "We are grateful for her many other contributions, respect her decision and wish Julie all the best in everything she does."
Best Life has reached out to the show regarding Chen Moonves' claim that she was fired.
But she continues to host another CBS show.
Chen Moonves has been hosting the CBS competition series Big Brother since it premiered in 2000. Notably, following the allegations against Moonves coming out, she began signing off from the show as "Julie Chen Moonves" rather than as "Julie Chen," as she had for the past 18 years.
The presenter was already working at CBS—for both CBS News and Big Brother—when she began dating Moonves. In an interview earlier this year with Entertainment Weekly, she explained that she thought she was going to be fired when he invited her to an event.
"I got a call from Les Moonves and he's like, 'I have to go to this event tonight for Gorbachev and Clinton and you work for the news division. Do you want to meet me at the event?' He needed a plus one, and I was like, 'Oh my God, my boss' boss' boss is taking me out to a public place to fire me!" she recalled. "I remember saying to him, 'Are you here to fire me?' And he was like, 'What? Executives don't take out their talent to fire them.'"
She asked her husband about the allegations.
Chen Moonves and Moonves got married in 2004. They have one child together, their son Charlie, who was born in 2009. Good Morning America anchor Juju Chang asked Chen Moonves if she questioned her husband about whether the accusations made against him were true.
"That's not what we're here to talk about. But, of course. Yeah. I know my husband. You know? I know my husband," she responded.
She also revealed how she discussed the scandal with Charlie. "I told him that there were reports that were false about our family, and that… I kept it simple," she explained. "I said, 'So if you ever hear anything, or you read anything, you come to us first. You know this family. You know who we are. And don't let anyone shake that.'"
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