Julie Chen Moonves left The Talk in late 2018 after nearly a decade of moderating the CBS talk show. Her abrupt exit came in the wake of numerous sexual assault allegations against her husband, former CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, who denies the claims. At the time, Chen Moonves said she was leaving the show to "spend more time at home with my husband and our young son." Now, in a new interview with Good Morning America, she's claiming that the departure wasn't actually her decision.
"That was a hard time," she said in an interview about her new memoir, But First, God, where she reportedly writes about being pushed out of the show. "I felt stabbed in the back. I was!"
CBS representatives did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
Mike Nelson/EPA/Shutterstock Julie Chen Moonves attends the Academy Awards in February 2017
As the title of But First, God suggests, Chen Moonves has been on a spiritual journey since 2018. A newfound dedication to Christianity has given her a fresh perspective on everything, including the end of her time at The Talk.
"I don't know if I could've reconciled if I didn't have God in my life," Chen Moonves said.
Julie Chen Moonves talks about her new memoir, opens up about leaving "The Talk" and the sexual misconduct allegations against husband Les Moonves. @jujuchangabc reports. https://t.co/T5R9yD9hwX pic.twitter.com/phCt2FXHQF
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 18, 2023
Chen Moonves stood by her husband in the face of the allegations against him; in fact, she didn't start going by her full married name "Julie Chen Moonves" on air until after he was accused. On Monday, GMA journalist Juju Chang inquired as to whether Chen Moonves ever asked her husband if the allegations were true.
"That's not what we're here to talk about, but of course, yeah," Chen Moonves responded. "I know my husband. I know my husband."
Last fall, CBS and Moonves, each without admitting liability, reached a deal with New York Attorney General Letitia James to pay $30.5 million — not to his accusers, but to CBS stockholders — for conspiring with an L.A. police captain to conceal the allegations. Moonves resigned as CEO in September 2018 after the accusations were made public, but the L.A. district attorney's office declined to pursue criminal charges against him.
Despite her exit from The Talk, Chen Moonves never stopped hosting Big Brother, and continues in that position to this day amidst the ongoing 25th season.
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