Former CEO of CBS Corporation Les Moonves was ousted from the network last year following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Since then, his wife Julie Chen, former co-host of The Talk and current host of Celebrity Big Brother premiering tonight, has stood by her husband of 15 years and the two currently remain married.
Chen, who’s hosted the Big Brother franchise since its U.S. inception, made a point to show her loyalty to her husband last season, signing off to the world with, “I’m Julie Chen Moonves. Goodnight,” marking the first time she used her married name on-air. She continued using the “Moonves” monicker throughout the rest of Big Brother 20.
However, even as the disgraced Moonves’ negotiated his exit from CBS, six women raised new assault and harassment claims against him, as reported by The New Yorker.
The CBS board of directors announced in December that it completed its investigation into the allegations and found there were grounds to “terminate for cause.” Prior to that, in a New York Times expose released on November 28, Phillips leveled an accusation of sexual assault against Moonves, claiming that Moonves forced himself on her in 1995 when he was the head of Warner Bros. Television. The Times further claimed that Moonves had taken steps to keep Phillips quiet in the wake of the various claims made against him in the last year.
Chen supported her husband since the allegations broke in the summer of 2018, tweeting: “I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the late ’90s, and I have been married to him for almost 14 years. Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader. He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband and stand behind him and his statement.”
The host then backed up her statement on The Talk, saying: “Some of you may be aware of what’s been going on in my life the past few days. I issued the one and only statement I will ever make on this topic on Twitter. And I will stand by that statement today, tomorrow, forever.”
While Chen has stayed on board for Big Brother, she left The Talk following the announcement of Moonves’ departure. As CNN wrote, “On the show, her fellow co-hosts reacted to the news. It seemed unlikely that she would return to the set, given the obvious tension that would exist every time the hosts discussed the #MeToo movement.”
Chen and Moonves were married in 2004 in a private ceremony just weeks after his divorce from Nancy Moonves, his wife of 25 years. Chen and Moonves married in Acapulco, Mexico on December 23, 2004.
Chen gave birth to their first child Charlie, on September 24, 2009. She is also the stepmother to Moonves’ three children from his previous marriage.
While it still remains unclear whether Chen will stick around CBS long enough to host this summer’s 21st edition of Big Brother, she’s on board to resume duties for Season 2 of Celebrity Big Brother, premiering tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET.