Julie Chen is leaving “The Talk,” one week after her husband Les Moonves was ousted from his longtime role as chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation.
Chen was expected to announce her exit Tuesday.
“She has decided that her main focus needs to be clearing her husband’s name from accusations made 25 to 30 years ago and tending to her son,” a source told CNN of Moonves’ wife’s decision to step down from her role as co-host on the CBS daytime talk show.
Chen showed up to host CBS’ “Big Brother” last Thursday, calling herself “Julie Chen Moonves” in her sign-off. CNN cited sources who said she will continue on the reality series.
However, she has not appeared on “The Talk” since Moonves exited CBS last Sunday, following sexual misconduct accusations from a dozen women. Chen said in a statement last Monday she was “taking a few days off from ‘The Talk’ to be with my family” and would be “back soon.”
But that didn’t stop her co-hosts from discussing the matter last week, with Sharon Osbourne saying, “obviously [Moonves] has a problem.”
Back in July, after Ronan Farrow’s initial New Yorker story described the accusations against Moonves, Chen briefly discussed the news on “The Talk.”
“Some of you may be aware of what’s been going on in my life the past few days,” Chen said at the top of the July 30 episode. “I issued the one and only statement I will make on Twitter. I stand by that statement today, tomorrow, and forever.”
Here is the tweet:
— Julie Chen (@JulieChen) July 27, 2018
Moonves and Chen, who were married in 2004, have one son together.
Representatives for CBS, Chen, and “The Talk” did not immediately respond to TheWrap‘s request for comment. Endemol Shine, the studio behind “Big Brother,” had no comment on Chen’s status.
Chen has been drawn into Moonves’ troubles since they first became public. She was most recently called out by comedian Kathy Griffin, who told off the CBS personality on Twitter Sunday night.
“F— you and your misogynistic husband,” Griffin direct messaged Chen, signing off, “Bye bitch.”
Griffin also said Chen may have helped her husband attempt to bury Janet Jackson’s career following the singer’s infamous wardrobe malfunction on the CBS-broadcast Super Bowl.
Joe Ianniello, who has served as the company’s COO since 2013, will take over as CBS’ president and acting CEO while the board searches for a permanent successor. The chairman position will remain open pending the appointment of a permanent CEO.
An investigation by two different law firms into the various accusations against Moonves and other senior CBS officials is still underway. The company announced that $20 million of any severance would be donated to #MeToo-related organizations.
Moovnes joined CBS Corporation from Warner Bros. in 1995, when he was named president of CBS Entertainment. He became chairman in 2003 and was named CEO in 2006, following the split of CBS and Viacom.
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