The Talk's season nine premiere kicked off earlier today on CBS. One person was noticeably absent from the table: Julie Chen. The moderator of the long-running gabfest was not with her co-hosts. This comes on the heels of husband and former CBS Corp. chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves' departure from his post. Moonves resigned from the Tiffany network after new sexual assault allegations were reported in an exposé in Sunday's New Yorker by Ronan Farrow. Six additional women came forward.
Farrow's first report in July exposed the claims against Moonves. Chen spoke about it once on the air where she stated,
Some of you may be aware of what’s been going on in my life for the past few days,” Chen 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. 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.
Now, after the new claims, Chen has decided to spend some time with her family. Chen released a statement saying,
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.
Host Sharon Osbourne kicked things off at the top of the show by addressing the controversy head-on. Osbourne stated,
It’s a very bittersweet day for a Season 9. We’re about to talk about something that affects everyone’s lives at CBS. I’ve never been nervous in my life, and I’m 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 also explains how she was cajoled into writing a statement about Moonves when allegations first went public. Watch the entire discussion here.