"Julie's the best, you know, and her marriage is her marriage," Sharon Osbourne said about Julie Chen and Les Moonves

By Natalie Stone
November 14, 2018 03:39 PM

Sharon Osbourne doesn’t condone ousted CBS CEO and chairman Leslie “Les” Moonves‘ alleged behavior, but she respects Julie Chen for standing by her husband after he was accused of sexual misconduct.

“I love Julie. Julie’s the best, you know, and her marriage is her marriage. And she’s standing by him, and I do respect her for it,” Osbourne, 66, said on SiriusXM’s Jim and Sam Show on Wednesday.

D Dipasupil/Getty Images

Over the summer, six women who professionally dealt with Moonves between the 1980s and late aughts accused him of sexual misconduct in Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker piece. Two months later, Moonves was removed from his position at the network after a second Ronan Farrow piece was published by The New Yorker, in which 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.

Chen, 48, supported her 69-year-old husband and announced her departure from The Talk in a videotaped message to viewers.

Although Osbourne and Chen worked alongside each other daily on The Talk, Osbourne admitted on the Jim and Sam Show that she hasn’t “spoken to Julie in forever.”

“We didn’t speak during the break or she didn’t call and say, ‘I’m having to go.’ That tape was delivered, and that was it,” said Osbourne, who admitted that she and her fellow co-hosts were expecting Chen’s exit. “We were going back and forth and thinking, ‘She’s sticking by her husband and the things that we discuss on the show, it would be so awkward for her. I don’t know how she could come into a conversation and give an opinion. … If she thinks her husband wasn’t guilty, but this one’s guilty.’ Do you know what I’m saying?”

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

“It would have been terribly embarrassing for her,” said Osbourne, adding, “Just really, really tough on her. I mean, when they were doing the investigation, I think that every female employee through CBS got a letter from the people that are dong the investigation for the company to say, ‘Have you ever had any inappropriate meetings with him? Has he ever been inappropriate with you?’ … And too, when your husband has been the boss and he’s run everything, and when you come in, everybody is doing an invisible curtsy … and then you come in and if you want a cappuccino, ‘Oh actually, you have to pay for that now.’ You can’t go back to being an employee, because it wasn’t like she was an employee.”

Days ahead of her departure, Chen, who shares 9-year-old son Charlie with Moonves, supported her husband in a big way on Big Brother.

At the end of an episode, Chen sent a subtle — but pointed — message of solidarity to her husband when she signed off the show as “Julie Chen Moonves” — a first for the longtime Big Brother host.

“Everybody went, ‘S—!’ That was like, ‘What’d she just say?!’ ” Osbourne said on the Jim and Sam Show about Chen’s shocking signoff.

“Hey, listen, she must love that little guy,” she added.

After Moonves’ exit, CBS said that the network and Moonves “will donate $20 million to one or more organizations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace.”

“For the past 24 years it has been an incredible privilege to lead CBS’s renaissance and transformation into a leading global media company. The best part of this journey has been working alongside the dedicated and talented people in this company,” Moonves said in a statement to Variety.

He wrote, “Untrue allegations from decades ago are now being made against me that are not consistent with who I am.”