A seguito di accuse di cattiva condotta sessuale, Les Moonves si è dimesso dalla carica di CEO della CBS nel settembre 2018. La mossa è arrivata dopo che un pezzo incendiario è stato pubblicato da Ronan Farrow per The New Yorker nel luglio dello stesso anno. Il pezzo di Farrow conteneva resoconti di sei donne, che accusavano la cattiva condotta ed erano professionalmente collegate a Moonves. Il rapporto e l’uscita di Moonves dalla CBS hanno messo in luce il suo matrimonio con Julie Chen, una figura di spicco all’interno della rete.
When The New Yorker article was originally published in July 2018, Chen released a statement on Twitter in support of her husband. "Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader," the "Big Brother" host wrote. A couple months later, after Moonves vacated his role as CEO of CBS, Chen decided to leave "The Talk." She released a video message to make the announcement. Although she stayed with CBS, Chen said, "Right now, I need to spend more time at home, with my husband and our young son."
Around that same time, in August 2018, reports circulated that Chen had been difficult to work with, and was a demanding host. A former co-worker came to Chen's defense, and believed her marriage to Moonves made her a target, per the Daily Beast. Years later, after the dust has settled on the scandal, Chen is speaking about her marriage to the former CBS executive.
Why Julie Chen's name change had a huge impact
When Les Moonves left CBS in September 2018, Julie Chen showed support for her husband with a subtle gesture that spoke volumes. The television personality had always gone by "Julie Chen," but at the time, she signed off an episode of "Big Brother" by saying, "I'm Julie Chen Moonves. Goodnight."
Nearly four years later, Chen discussed why she had changed her on-air name. "When I married my husband, I chose not to take the name because I thought it could be seen as an unfair advantage," she told Deadline on July 6. Once the allegations against Moonves were public, Chen decided to make the change at the last second. "And then when his name was getting dragged through the mud, I thought this is the time to make my stand," she added. Doubling down on her statement from when the allegations went public, the long-time reality host continued to back up Moonves. "I know him. And he is a good man," Chen told Deadline.
A few months after Moonves departed CBS, rumors circulated that Chen was having second thoughts about supporting her husband amid the scandal. Shortly after, those rumors were refuted. "Julie remains committed to her marriage and is focused on her family," a spokesperson for Chen told Page Six in December 2018. "In fact, this has drawn Julie and her husband as well as their entire family closer than ever," they added.