Television personality Julie Chen has broken her silence on serious allegations made against her husband, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves.
On Friday, July 27, 2018, The Talk host took to Twitter to defend her husband just hours after six women accused him of sexual harassment and intimidation in journalist Ronan Farrow’s latest piece for The New Yorker.
“I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the late ’90s, and I have been married to him for almost 14 years,” Chen wrote in a text-post to her followers. “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.”
Chen, 48, and Moonves, 68, tied the knot in December 2004. The couple share one child, 8-year-old son Charlie.
As Nicki Swift previously reported, CBS had already launched an investigation into the Moonves allegations before Farrow’s exposé was published early Friday evening. The article detailed over two decades’ worth of alleged inappropriate behavior, including unwanted touching and kissing during business meetings. One of Moonves’ accusers, writer-actress Illeana Douglas, claimed that she’d been fired from a TV pilot “for not participating” during an alleged incident of sexual assault in 1997.
Moonves, who became one of the most powerful men in television after joining CBS in 1995, has since denied the claims. “Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company,” he stated to The New Yorker. “I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected — and abided by the principle — that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career.”
He added, “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.”
Farrow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize earlier this year after uncovering Harvey Weinstein’s alleged thirty-year history of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape in October 2017. He recently told the Associated Press that he began investigating this story, which also discussed the broader “corporate culture around Les Moonves,” eight months ago. Farrow noted, “We talked to experts who say this is an opportunity to look at how our most important corporate institutions treat vulnerable people coming forward with these kinds of charges.”
In recent months, CBS has received intense scrutiny for its handling of allegations made against Charlie Rose, who was fired from CBS This Morning in November 2017 after eight women accused him of sexual misconduct. According to an investigation conducted by The Washington Post, the disgraced TV journalist’s widespread behavior spanned over 40 years, and had been reported to at least three CBS managers during that time.
“All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously,” the network released in a lengthy statement on Friday (via The Hollywood Reporter). CBS added in part, “The Independent Directors of CBS have committed to investigating claims that violate the Company’s clear policies in that regard. Upon the conclusion of that investigation, which involves recently reported allegations that go back several decades, the Board will promptly review the findings and take appropriate action.”
Moonves is just the latest powerful man in the entertainment industry to be called out for an alleged abuse of power in the wake of the #MeToo movement. After Weinstein’s ongoing, infamous scandal first rocked Hollywood last fall, several other bigwigs in film and television, including Kevin Spacey and Brett Ratner, have been accused of sexual misconduct.