Julie Chen Returning as Host of Celebrity Big Brother After Husband Les Moonves' Scandal
CBS confirmed that Julie Chen will continue her duties on the show
CBS confirmed that Chen, 48, will continue her duties on the show in a press release announcing its midseason schedule on Tuesday.
The press release also referred to Chen as “Julie Chen Moonves,” as she continues to support her husband, former CBS CEO Leslie “Les” Moonves, amid his sexual misconduct scandal.
Speculation as to whether or not Chen, who has been hosting the reality TV competition for 18 years, would return to CBB heightened after CBS announced that Moonves was no longer the chairman and CEO of the network following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
“[Julie] has always been very hands-on as the host,” a source close to the the network’s reality competition show previously told PEOPLE. “She knows everyone’s name on the crew, and she is very involved. She’s been doing this show for 18 years; she’s the face of Big Brother. A lot of the crew members are millennials who grew up watching her, and she has been so great to them. She’s very approachable, and she really cares about making the show as good as possible.”
“The last few weeks have been different, though,” the source added. “She comes in, does what she has to do, and leaves. She doesn’t make small talk; she doesn’t talk to the crew. She comes in, does her job, and leaves. It’s clear you can’t approach her. If she’s not on camera, she’s either on her phone or she retreats to her room. It’s like a different host. It’s not that other people can’t host a show like this, but I don’t know how you get someone who cares as much as she does. It feels like she’s totally checked out of Big Brother, which makes everyone nervous.”
Fans began to further question her future with Big Brother after she announced her departure from the popular daytime talk show The Talk.
In a videotaped message to viewers, Chen told viewers she decided to leave the show in order to spend more time at home with her family.
Julie Chen and Les Moonves
“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.”
“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, co-host 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 and wish Julie all the best in everything she does.”
RELATED VIDEO: Julie Chen to Leave The Talk Amid Husband Les Moonves’ CBS Ousting: Report
But all the while, Chen has made it known she is standing by her husband.
In September, Chen returned to CBS to host Big Brother and sent a subtle message of solidarity to her husband as she signed off from the show, looking at the camera and saying, “I’m Julie Chen Moonves. Goodnight.”
It was the first time that she had used the last name Moonves on the show — and it came just days after her husband exited CBS after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment.
An insider close to the Big Brother production previously told PEOPLE, “Everyone knows that it’s a big ‘f— you’ to CBS that she did it, because she never, ever refers to herself as anything but Julie Chen.”
Chen and Moonves married in 2004 and share 8-year-old son Charlie.