After being missing in action since the ninth season of The Talk kicked off Sept. 10, Julie Chen finally appeared on Tuesday’s telecast to announce she’s leaving the CBS talk show she helped create.
Chen made her goodbye statement via a pretaped video that aired at the end of the program. Chen’s picture was still in the opening credits of the show, but her chair was filled by frequent guest host Carrie Ann Inaba.
“Right now I need to spend more time at home with my husband and young son,” Chen, 48, said from the Big Brother set. Apparently, she taped the message at a BB rehearsal before today’s episode. “Thank you viewers for allowing me into your home. It was a privilege.”
She also had encouraging words for Inaba, saying, “You look awful good sitting in that chair, my Asian sister. I’m just saying.
“I love you all,” Chen continued. “I know this show and the sisterhood it stands for will live on for many years to come. I love you.”
Chen’s decision comes after her husband, Leslie Moonves, was forced out as CBS chairman amid a flurry of allegations of sexual misconduct by several women, first exposed by The New Yorker. As part of the agreement, both CBS and Moonves, 68, will immediately donate $20 million to organizations that support the #MeToo movement. Moonves will not receive any severance benefits other than what the company describes as “certain fully accrued and vested compensation and benefits.”
Any future payoff will depend on the results of investigations into the myriad claims against Moonves, which he has denied.
Last Thursday, Chen made the unexpected decision to sign off from Big Brother 20 with her married name. It’s unclear for now whether Chen will opt to leave the reality show after it ends later this month.