Everything About Julie Chen’s Complicated Life as Wife to Les Moonves and How She Copes With His Sex Scandal
Chen is a strong woman, and we mean every word of it. If she weren’t strong, she wouldn’t have said on Larry King’s show in 2016 that “I won’t even be in the room for you to ask what’s the matter, I will ice you out.”
Anyways, Chen was only referring to how she dealt with her husband one time when they argued, and he crossed the line. Chen talked about how she and her husband manage to keep the thing together these days when marriages don’t last and considering what they have been through. She said “Very early on my husband said to me, ‘Let’s never say something to the other person where—just know anything you say, you can’t take it back.’ So never hit below the belt, no matter how emotional you’re feeling, or vulnerable, or hurt, or angry. And we really don’t fight. We don’t fight.
I’m a very easygoing person; I wake up happy. And my husband, he has learned how to count to 10 backwards in his head. He says, ‘you have no idea how many times I bite my tongue.’ Because the one time he didn’t—he doesn’t respond well to cold. I will shut off and shut down.”
Nobody was surprised that Chen stayed away from The talk as it returned for its 9th season on Monday. Her absence was probably because the topic of discussion both on CBS daytime shows and other shows was the recent resignation of CBS crop. CEO Les Moonves. New allegations of sexual misconduct were levelled against Les over the weekend the second time in two months.
Chen has however stood by her husband of over a decade and three years ever since Farrow published the first accusation from six females of sexual misconduct in late June.
On Friday, July 27th, Chen Tweeted, “I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the late ’90s, and I’ve been married to him for almost 14 years, Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader. He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband and stand behind him and his statement.” The Monday that followed, Chen said on the talk that she stood by her statement “today, tomorrow, forever.”
In response to the accusations published by Furrow, Moonves said about the Sunday New Yorker story that “The appalling accusations in this article are untrue, What is true is that I had consensual relations with three of the women some 25 years ago before I came to CBS. And I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women,” Les responded. “In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations. I can only surmise they are surfacing now for the first time, decades later, as part of a concerted effort by others to destroy my name, my reputation, and my career.”
Les Moonves also said that all past advances that were made towards women and were misunderstood or made anyone feel uncomfortable were mistakes that he regrets and he sincerely apologises for. “But I always understood and respected—and abided by the principle—that ‘no’ means ‘no,'” Les added, “and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career. This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution.”
According to a story published on Vanity fair that Sundays, Moonves was identified by a secret source as the “VIP patient” who allegedly twice grabbed and tried to kiss Dr Anne L. Peters. In response, Les told vanity fair
“The shocking allegations about my conduct toward a female physician some 20 years ago are untrue. What is true, and what I deeply regret, is that I tried to kiss the doctor. Nothing more happened.”
However, Monday morning on the talk, Sharon Osbourne called it a bittersweet day, adding that she had never been nervous in her entire life, but there and then, she felt nervous ( One would like to assume she was trying to mentally process the thought of the CBS this morning show actually reporting the ouster of one of their very own.)
“First of all, I want to say that whatever times of hardship I’ve had over the last eight years, Julie has always been there for me,” Sharon said. “She’s been a friend, she’s somebody who I admire and respect greatly, and it’s very embarrassing and upsetting to have to talk about her husband, but we do. We feel it’s right. I personally superficially knew Les Moonves. It was ‘Hello, how are you?’ Nothing more, I know nothing about the man other than he was Julie’s husband and was head of the biggest network in the world and the most powerful man on TV. “I was asked a couple of months ago to make a statement supporting Leslie, which I felt I was as diplomatic as could be with the statement that I made,” Osbourne added. “But now, after seven more women have come out, these stories are so similar, the pattern is so similar, that for them, it’s—he’s not been convicted of any crime, but apparently the man has a problem.”
However, Osbourne added that no matter what happened to The talk, she was concerned about the what would happen to the workers when weren’t rich and famous once new management settled in.
Gayle King was also absent from the CBS this morning show on Monday but resumed on Tuesday and wasn’t happy with the network after receiving news that CBS wouldn’t be releasing the results of its investigation into the accusations levelled against Moonves.
Gayle said “It’s been my experience that women don’t come out and speak this way for no reason. They just don’t. They just don’t do it. And so I don’t know how we move forward if we don’t—we at CBS—don’t have full transparency about what we find…In our own house, we must have full transparency.” Adding that “I feel for Julie Chen today, She’s in a tough position. And Les Moonves has done wonderful things for this company, and we can’t forget that either. So, it’s just a bad situation all the way around.”
Julie Chen’s Big brother gig was that one Job that brought her to the limelight and according to her “I was 29 years old, I had just started [at] the network, I didn’t know what to do, So I had to take the job, and it changed my whole life. When I talk about marriages come out of [the show], I got married afterwards too.”
Moonves told Buzzfeed News some time ago that “I did say, ‘How about Julie Chen? She’s young, she’s pretty, she’s hip, and she’s a newsperson I don’t know if she wants to do it—because I didn’t even know her at the time. I just knew her as somebody working at CBS News.”
Chen has no regrets leaving hard news as she appears to enjoy a lot of things about her life after she went. Chen told BuzzFeed that “I look at my life outside of [work], and my family is so important, I could never see having the life I have now at home with my son and my husband and being a foreign correspondent. I can’t imagine being a mother of sound mind who is thousands of miles away from her child. I couldn’t do both things well. So I am more than fine not being a 60 Minutes correspondent because I’m pretty lucky to have what I have.”
After Chen and Moonves got married, there were rumours that she threatened her co-workers with the “My husband will fire you” phrase to get them to do her bidding. But in her defence, Les said: “Anybody that knows my wife knows she would never say that.”
After the first New Yorker story of Moonves sexual harassment scandal came out, people once again watched out to see any change in professional behaviour on the part of Chen since it was suspected that her husband would step down soon.
A former colleague shared that “I never saw any behaviour that was disrespectful. Could she be stern? Did she know what she wanted? You bet. Did she feel emboldened? Maybe… Julie suffered no fools gladly.” However, the source added, “I completely buy that there are people who’ve been waiting for this moment for either or both of them. I can’t tell you how many people think she got the projects she got because of Leslie… There’s no doubt her marriage to him was the elephant in the room.”
Aisha Tyler who was a co-host on the talk for six seasons and is friends with Chen said: “I was waiting for the mask to drop, but it never did.”
“I haven’t interacted with her over what’s going on right now; I don’t know many women who have a stronger sense of self and direction than Julie. She’s going through this in a way that only she can. She’s incredibly capable and self-aware. I don’t really worry about her.”
However, Chen had talked about how good it feels to be married to someone so powerful and famous, but still, she felt “it’s not about power, I need a strong personality, so whether that translates into power in the business world, I don’t know. But I need someone who’s not going to take my crap… I find it attractive that there’s a part of me that’s kind of like, I’ll listen to him. Because I…don’t listen to a lot of people; I want to be the one calling the shots. There’s a part of me that likes having someone to call the shots instead of me doing all the work.” At home, “I let him be boss.” Adding that “Sex has to be there, but you have to be a partner,”
Knowing that through all of this Chen remains by her husband’s side, sends a message across to married women around the world. We are not implying that women put up with every bullshit, but there are ways you know a person that helps you to understand how much they need you when they are faced with a crisis.