Julie Chen bids farewell to ‘The Talk’ after Moonves allegations

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Julie Chen, the wife of former CBS Corp <CBS.N. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves, said on Tuesday she is stepping down from daytime show “The Talk” on CBS, a week after Moonves resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations.

FILE PHOTO: Co-hosts Julie Chen (L) and Leah Remini joke during the CBS, Showtime and the CW Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., July 28, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Chen, who married Moonves in 2004, made the announcement in a teary, prerecorded video message played on the CBS women’s talk show where she has been a co-host for nine years.

FILE PHOTO: President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation Les Moonves and his wife, Julie Chen, arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

“I need to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son, so I’ve decided to leave ‘The Talk’,” she said. She did not mention the accusations against Moonves.

“I have been at ‘The Talk’ since the day it started nine years ago, and the cast, crew and staff have become family,” Chen added.

Chen has defended her husband against the allegations, which date back to the 1980s. Moonves, who was one of the most powerful men in television, has denied any nonconsensual sexual conduct.

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Chen announced last week she would be taking a few days off from “The Talk,” where the hosts bring their personal experiences to discussions on topical issues.

CBS in a statement on Tuesday said it respected Chen’s decision to leave, and praised her “incredible energy, grace and professionalism” on the show.

Chen thanked the crew and her co-hosts, particularly Sara Gilbert and Sharon Osbourne.

“We’ve been together since day one,” she told them. “I have spent every day with you both. I will always treasure our friendship.”

Chen is expected to remain as the host of the CBS reality show “Big Brother.”

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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