Julie Chen absent from 'The Talk' Season 9 premiere amid Les Moonves ouster

Variety

Julie Chen did not appear on Monday's Season 9 premiere of "The Talk" on CBS the day after her husband, Leslie Moonves, was ousted as CEO-chairman of CBS Corp.

"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 said in a statement.

Host Sharon Osbourne kicked off the show saying, "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've 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 added, "I want to say that whatever times I've had of hardship over the past eight years, Julie has always been there for me. She's been a friend. She's been someone who I admire and respect greatly. It's very embarrassing and upsetting to have to talk about her husband, but we do. We feel it's right. I personally know Les Moonves in a superficial way. It was, 'Hello, how are you?' Nothing more. I know nothing about the man, other than that he's Julie's husband, and he was the head of the biggest network in the world, and the most powerful man in TV."

Co-host Sara Gilbert chimed in saying, "This is our ninth season, and we've been together since the beginning. I love her, I support her always. However, this is an important time in our culture and just because this hits close to home, it doesn't change the story. All women's stories, and these women's stories matter. This is very series, and the appropriate actions need to take place. I am happy when women are heard because for a long time, they haven't been."

After steering CBS Corp. for 25 years, Moonves stepped down as chairman-CEO as new sexual assault allegations surfaced. CBS chief operating officer Joe Ianniello has been named interim CEO of the company.

Moonves issued a statement on Sunday night, citing "untrue allegations" about his behavior. In the statement, Moonves said he was "deeply saddened to be leaving the company."

Six women leveled sexual harassment and assault allegations against the executive in an explosive expose in the New Yorker on Sunday by Ronan Farrow. Sunday's story followed a July report by Farrow with allegations from six women.

After sexual misconduct allegations were first leveled against Moonves in July, Chen briefly addressed it on "The Talk" the following week.

"Some of you may be aware of what's been going on in my life for the past few days," Chen said while opening the show. "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."

The statement Chen was referring to read, "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."

MORE COVERAGE:

CBS executive Les Moonves resigns following sexual misconduct allegations

Just because CBS exec Les Moonves didn't harass you, doesn't mean he's incapable of harassment

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