Chen addressed her departure in a videotaped message to viewers on Tuesday’s episode of the popular daytime talk show.
“Right now I need to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son,” she said. “So I’ve decided to leave The Talk.
She became emotional as she thanked her fellow hosts and crew members behind the scenes, calling them all her “family.”
“I know this show and the sisterhood it stands for will live on for many, many years to come,” she concluded.
After the video finished playing, Sheryl Underwood was seen crying as Sara Gilbert said goodbye to Chen on behalf of the women.
“For eight seasons, Julie Chen has co-hosted THE TALK with incredible energy, grace and professionalism,” CBS said in a statement. “Her talents played a big role in our successful launch of CBS’ first network daytime talk show, and in the series growth into an Emmy Award-winning broadcast. All of us here have tremendous appreciation for the dedication and passion she brought to the show every day and for her generous role as an ambassador for CBS Daytime. We are grateful for her many other contributions, respect her decision wish Julie all the best in everything she does.”
Chen has served as a co-host and moderator on The Talk since the show first premiered in 2010. Along with her job on The Talk, she also hosts CBS’s Big Brother.
Chen and Moonves have been married since 2004 and share one son together, 8-year-old Charlie.
CBS and Moonves, 68, “will donate $20 million to one or more organizations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace,” CBS said, adding that the donation will be made immediately.
“Moonves will not receive any severance benefits at this time (other than certain fully accrued and vested compensation and benefits),” the network said, explaining that any future payments are contingent upon investigations into the allegations against Moonves and the board’s approval.
Following Moonves’ ousting, Chen was absent from the season 9 premiere of The Talk.
In Ronan Farrow‘s piece for The New Yorker published hours before Moonves was let go, six additional women came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault, including forced oral sex, exposing himself without consent, and the use of physical violence and intimidation to keep them quiet. The women said the incidents took place between the 1980s and early 2000s, Farrow reported.
“The appalling accusations in this article are untrue. What is true is that I had consensual relations with three of the women some 25 years ago before I came to CBS,” Moonves said in a statement to The New Yorker, reportedly declining to indicate which of the encounters he believed were consensual. “And I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women. In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations. I can only surmise they are surfacing now for the first time, decades later, as part of a concerted effort by others to destroy my name, my reputation, and my career. Anyone who knows me knows that the person described in this article is not me.”
In Farrow’s first piece on Moonves, published July 27, six women — including actress Illeana Douglas and writer Janet Jones — who professionally dealt with Moonves between the 1980s and late aughts accused him of sexual misconduct.
In a statement to The New Yorker in July, Moonves admitted to acting inappropriately in the past.
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“Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company. I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances,” he said.
“Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected — and abided by the principle — that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career. This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution,” he continued.
Chen defended her husband on Twitter following the first round of allegations in July.
“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,” she tweeted.