Julie Chen Moonves says leaving “The Talk” was not her choice.
The former television host appeared on “Good Morning America” to promote her new book, “But First, God,” where she said she was pressured to step down as co-host of “The Talk” in 2018 after her husband, former chairman of CBS, Les Moonves, was accused of sexual misconduct.
“That was a hard time,” she said. “I felt stabbed in the back. I was.”
She added, “I don’t know if I could have reconciled if I didn’t have God in my life.”
Chen Moonves co-hosted and moderated “The Talk” for eight years, stating at the time of her departure that she was exiting the show to “spend more time at home with my husband and our young son.”
Days prior, her husband was forced out as chief executive of CBS amid sexual misconduct allegations he denied.
She publicly defended her husband and began using his name professionally following the controversy.
“Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader,” she wrote in a statement on Twitter at the time. “He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being.”
Chen Moonves is speaking out about her departure from “The Talk” for the first time in her new book, which details her spiritual path in recent years.
“Julie Chen before she found God was self-absorbed, career-minded, vain, gossipy, fun to be with, but probably kind of a shallow person,” she said. “Julie Chen Moonves, who now knows the Lord, is someone who wants to help others; who wants to look at everyone with a soft heart.”
Chen Moonves still hosts “Big Brother” on CBS.