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Chen addressed her absence from the show in a statement: “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.”
Chen’s co-host Sharon Osbourne addressed the news at the top of the show. “It’s a bittersweet day for us. … We’re about to talk about something that affects everybody’s lives here at CBS,” she said. “And I’ve never been nervous in my life, but I’m kind of very nervous right now. As you all know, Julie’s husband is in the news, and she’s taking off time to be with her family.”
Osbourne then reminded the audience that “CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves stepped down last night,” before showing coverage from ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today and more morning shows about the news of his departure.
After more than a decade in his current role, Moonves stepped down after new sexual assault allegations surfaced in a New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow published on Sunday. Six women leveled sexual harassment and assault allegations against Moonves. He was previously accused of sexual assault by six other women in a report published in July.
On Sunday night, Moonves issued a statement, calling the new allegations “untrue,” adding that he was “deeply saddened to be leaving the company.”
Just days after the first round of assault allegations made headlines earlier this summer, Chen addressed the scandal on The Talk. “Some of you may be aware of what’s been going on in my life for the past few days,” she said at the time. “I issued the one and only statement I will ever make on this topic on Twitter. I will stand by that statement today, tomorrow, forever.”
Chen was referring to this statement: “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.”
On Monday’s episode of The Talk, Osbourne revealed that although she previously shared messages of support for Moonves — whom she says she only knew in a “superficial way” — she feels different now that more women have come forward with stories of sexual misconduct.
“The stories are so similar. The pattern is so similar that, for me, he’s not been convicted of any crime, but obviously the man has a problem,” said Osbourne. “I’d like to say that Mr. Moonves has stepped down and Mr. Moonves is an extremely wealthy man and good luck to him for being a wealthy man. He worked hard. He’s made this network No. 1.”
Co-hosts Sheryl Underwood, Eve and Sara Gilbert concluded the opening segment with messages of support for Chen. “I support her always,” said Gilbert. “However, this is an important time in our culture and just because this hits close to home, it doesn’t change this story. All women’s stories matter and these women’s stories matter. This is very serious, and the appropriate actions need to take place.”
She added: “I am happy when women are heard, because for a long time they haven’t been.”
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