In her new audiobook, Chen reveals what her cohosts did that allegedly led to her departure from The Talk … and touches on the misconduct allegations against her husband, Les Moonves.
Julie Chen Moonves opened up about her exit from The Talk in her new book, alleging two of her cohosts gave the network an ultimatum about her appearing on the show following sexual misconduct allegations against her husband, Les Moonves.
In her audiobook “But First, God,” Chen Moonves gave some more insight into what allegedly went down behind the scenes in 2018, when she announced her exit from the talk show just nine days after Les stepped down from CBS following assault and harassment accusations.
First, she spoke of her husband and the claims made against him right in Chapter 1.
“He had a very celebrated career at CBS. A movement began shortly before 2018 to try and merge CBS with a sister media company,” she wrote. “Now, my husband was against this merger, and it was while he was working against the merger to happen that misconduct allegations against him from decades earlier arose, and that is when he and CBS came to an agreement to separate.”
“11 months after he left CBS, the merger that he was against did happen,” she added. Moonves told The New Yorker that he recognized three of the sexual encounters detailed in Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker exposé but said they were consensual; Chen has always supported her husband.
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Calling herself “collateral damage,” she went on to say “the decision to leave the show was made for me.” Later in the book, she addressed her exit more specifically, saying it came “when my life and my husband’s life was turned upside down.”
“I was all set to get back to work and launch Season 9. But the day before we were set to premiere I got a call and I was told with my name and my husband’s name being in the headlines and all this chaos, two of my co-hosts called the powers at CBS and said, ‘If Julie shows up to work tomorrow, we’re not coming in,'” she claimed. “So, I was basically told, ‘Please don’t come back to work anymore at The Talk.'”
Chen Moonves said leaving the show “really gutted me.”
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“I was angry. I was frustrated, I felt robbed, and I felt wronged,” she explained. “I felt like so many people that I loved and trusted or thought were friends … wow, they did me so dirty. I was very bitter back then and I am not that person now and I thank Jesus for that.”
She added that she was able to “find forgiveness” for the two cohosts who allegedly complained about her, saying that she’s spoken with them in the years since she left the show. “Truly all is forgiven,” she said.
Chen said she’s happy the show is still on the air and, in retrospect, knows leaving it behind “was not only the right thing to do, but the only thing to do.”
Julie still hosts Big Brother for CBS; her audiobook is available now.
Julie Chen Finally Explains Why She Took Husband Les Moonves' Name Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations
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