The tables turned on “The Talk” Monday, as the co-hosts had to address a controversy surrounding one of their own.
Following the release of another explosive Ronan Farrow report Sunday night, Julie Chen’s husband Leslie Moonves has been removed as CBS CEO as six additional women alleged they too were sexually harassed and assaulted by one of the most powerful men in television.
“It’s a kind of very bittersweet day for us,” Sharon Osbourne began on Monday’s broadcast, acknowledging the premiere episode of their ninth season. But she continued, “As you all know, Julie’s husband is in the news, and she’s taking off time to be with her family.”
Chen had previously released a statement to ET Canada announcing her absence, adding “I will be back soon and will see you Thursday night on ‘Big Brother’.”
“[Julie]’s been a friend – she’s somebody who I admire and respect greatly,” Sharon explained. “It’s very embarrassing and upsetting to talk about her husband, but we do. We feel it’s right.”
Osbourne also retracted her original statement in support of Moonves when initial reports of his predatory behaviour were published. “Now, after seven more women have come out – the stories are so similar, the pattern is so similar that, for me… he’s not been convinced of any crime, but obviously the man has a problem.”
“Just because this hits close to home, it doesn’t change this story,” Sara Gilbert noted. “All women’s stories matter, and these women’s stories matter.”
New co-host Eve reiterated her support for Chen, adding that she’s “praying for her and praying for her family.” Sheryl Underwood went on to say: “Now is the time for everyone to look inside themselves and become better people, and treat people the way they should be treated.”
Despite initial reports of Moonves receiving a $100 million settlement for his departure, CBS has confirmed that no exit compensation will be paid out “pending the results of the independent investigation into the allegations.”