Following allegations of sexual misconduct, Les Moonves resigned as CEO of CBS in September 2018. The move came after Ronan Farrow published an incendiary sentence for The New Yorker in July of that year. Farrow’s article had accounts of six women alleging the wrongdoing who were professionally associated with Moonves. The report and Moonves’ exit from CBS sheds a spotlight on his marriage to Julie Chen, a prominent figure within the network.
When the New Yorker’s article was originally published in July 2018, Chen posted a statement of support for her husband on Twitter. “Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspirational business leader,” wrote the Big Brother host. A few months later, after Moonves left his position as CEO of CBS, Chen decided to leave The Talk. She released a video message to make the announcement. Though she stayed with CBS, Chen said, “Right now I need to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son.”
Around the same time, in August 2018, reports circulated that Chen had been difficult to work with and that he was a demanding host. A former colleague came to Chen’s defense, believing her marriage to Moonves made her a target, per the Daily Beast. Years later, after the dust has settled on the scandal, Chen opens up about her marriage to the former CBS exec.
Why Julie Chen’s name change made a big impact
When Les Moonves left CBS in September 2018, Julie Chen showed support for her husband in a subtle gesture that spoke volumes. The television personality had always gone by Julie Chen, but at the time she signed an episode of Big Brother by saying, “I’m Julie Chen Moonves. Good night.”
Almost four years later, Chen discussed why she changed her on-air name. “When I married my husband, I chose not to take the name because I felt it might be viewed as an unfair advantage,” she told Deadline last second on July 6. “And then, with his name being dragged through the mud, I thought, this is the time to take a stand,” she added. The longtime reality host has reinforced her statement since the allegations were made public and continued to support Moonves. “I know him. And he’s a good man,” Chen told Deadline.
A few months after Moonves left CBS, rumors circulated that Chen had reservations about supporting her husband amid the scandal. Shortly thereafter, these rumors were refuted. “Julie remains committed to her marriage and focused on her family,” a rep for Chen told Page Six in December 2018. “Indeed, this has drawn Julie and her husband, as well as her entire family, closer than ever,” they added.