“With less than two weeks left, the game is kicking into hyper-drive. And it all begins tonight as two house guests will be walking out the front door. Welcome to double eviction night!”
And with that Julie Chen returned to CBS, four days after husband Leslie Moonves stepped down as CEO of CBS Corp after another Ronan Farrow article in The New Yorker detailed more women accusing Moonves of inappropriate workplace conduct and sexual harassment – and one day after The New York Times reported that the CBS board’s support for Moonves finally ran out after a revelation that he tried to buy an accuser’s silence by getting her a job at the network. Also one day since Chen and Moonves may have seen that report that board members have privately said it is all but certain the company will pay Moonves none of that $120M exit package.
Moonves has continued to assert his innocence, though he has acknowledged having had “consensual relationships” with three women who accused him of misconduct in the New Yorker‘s CBS expose from Sunday.
“Good evening, I’m Julie Chen. Welcome to double eviction night!” Chen began, making no opening reference to her absence from CBS this week until tonight’s episode, or that her The Talk colleagues had been dining on her family drama on Monday and Tuesday’s episodes, or that Sharon Osbourne had observed of Chen’s husband on national TV, “obviously the man has a problem.”
This past Monday, moments before Chen would, on any other week, have appeared on The Talk, she instead sent out a statement saying “I am taking a few days off from The Talk to be with my family,” and that she was going off the CBS broadcast grid until tonight’s Big Brother.”
At the top of the show, she referred to herself as Julie Chen. Signing off, she said, “from outside the Big Brother House with Brent, I’m Julie Chen Moonves. Good night.”
The subtle message of the sign-off was not lost on the Twittersphere.
Chen had been mum about the latest New Yorker allegations against her husband, or his eviction from CBS Sunday night.
In July, after Farrow’s first New Yorker expose, Chen issued a defiant statement, saying, “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.”
Appearing on The Talk shortly thereafter, she told viewers that was the “one and only statement I will ever make on this topic on Twitter. I will stand by that statement today, tomorrow, forever.”