Julie Chen Defends Husband Les Moonves Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Sexual Misconduct Allegations Julie Chen Les Moonves
Julie Chen and Les Moonves INSTAR Images

Julie Chen came to her husband Les Moonves’ defense on Friday, July 27, shortly after The New Yorker published an exposé accusing the CBS chairman of sexual misconduct.

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“I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the mid-90s, and I have been married to him for almost 14 years,” The Talk host, 48, wrote in a statement shared on Friday via Twitter. “Leslie is a good man and 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.” Moonves and Chen, who wed in 2004, share son Charlie, 8.

Reports surfaced earlier on Friday that a New Yorker story detailing allegations of sexual misconduct against Moonves, 68, was going to be published. CBS’ independent directors addressed misconduct accusations — without naming Moonves directly — in a statement to Us Weekly.

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“All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously. 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,” the network’s statement read. “The timing of this report comes in the midst of the Company’s very public legal dispute. While that litigation process continues, the CBS management team has the full support of the independent board members. Along with that team, we will continue to focus on creating value for our shareowners.” (Moonves is currently involved a legal battle with Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder in CBS and Viacom, whose role the board wants to diminish.)

Six different women accuse Moonves of sexual harassment and intimidation in the New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow. Four of the women claimed the CBS CEO forcibly touched or kissed them at business meetings. Writer and actress Illeana Douglas was among the accusers, claiming “was fired for not participating” in the alleged inappropriate behavior.

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Moonves denied the allegations made against him in a statement to The New Yorker: “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. 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. 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.”

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