Julie Chen, host of “The Talk,” is taking time off from the CBS daytime series in the wake of the resignation of her husband, Leslie Moonves, chairman and chief executive of CBS Corporation, who has stepped down amid allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
Chen’s co-host, Sharon Osborne, announced the news Monday in the Season 9 premiere of the series.
In a statement provided to The Times, Chen, who is also the host of “Big Brother,” said her duties on the prime-time reality show will not be affected.
“I am taking a few days off from ‘The Talk’ to be with my family. I will be back soon and will see you Thursday night on ‘Big Brother.’”
Calling it a “bittersweet day,” a visibly shaken Osbourne addressed Moonves’ departure and Chen’s decision to go on leave from “The Talk,” which is produced and distributed by CBS.
“I’ve never been nervous in my life, but I’m kind of very nervous right now,” she said, acknowledging the extraordinarily awkward circumstances. Describing Chen as a steadfast friend and colleague, she said it was “very embarrassing and upsetting to have to talk about her husband.”
Moonves announced Sunday night he was stepping down from CBS, where he’d spent more than 20 years and risen to become one of the most powerful figures in the media. His departure was precipitated by a series of reports by Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker in which numerous women accused him of sexual misconduct.
“The pattern is so similar, for me he’s not been convicted of a crime but obviously the man has a problem,” Osborne on Monday.
Her co-host, Sara Gilbert, expressed support for Chen as well as Moonves’ accusers.
“This is an important time in our culture, and just because this hits close to home that doesn’t change this story,” said Gilbert. “All women’s stories matter and these women’s stories matter. This is very serious and the appropriate actions need to take place. I am happy when women are heard because for a long time they haven’t been.”
Staff writer Makeda Easter contributed to this report.