Amid a recent expose that accused CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves of sexual misconduct against multiple women over the years, his wife, Big Brother host Julie Chen, issued a statement on Twitter on Friday, defending her husband and emphasizing his positive traits as a husband, father, and entertainment executive.
“I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the late ’90s, and I have been married to him for almost 14 years,” read Chen’s statement, as quoted by Page Six.
“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 statement was issued on the same day that Ronan Farrow published a report on the New Yorker, citing six women who alleged that Les Moonves had acted inappropriately toward them between the 1980s and the late 2000s. As pointed out in the report, this contrasted with the executive’s recent statements in support of the #MeToo movement and his initiatives geared toward the elimination of sexual harassment in the workplace.
According to Farrow, four of the women who spoke to him regarding the alleged incidents claimed that Moonves forcibly touched or kissed them during business meetings, a practice which they claimed appeared to be well rehearsed. Two of the women accused Moonves of physically intimidating them or threatening to sabotage their careers after they refused his purported sexual advances.
These women included actress and writer Illeana Douglas, who told Farrow that Les Moonves tried to convince her to work with CBS by selling her on the possibility of getting a nice house with a swimming pool, among other promises. Not long after she was given a part in a CBS comedy, Queens, in 1997, Moonves allegedly began asking Douglas sensitive questions about her relationship status during a meeting in his office, before pinning he and “violently” kissing her.
Les Moonves and Julie Chen were married in 2004, several years after she first started working for CBS. As recalled by Town and Country, the couple first met when Moonves was still married to his first wife, Nancy Wiesenfeld, and tied the knot two weeks after his divorce from Wiesenfeld was finalized. Moonves and the Big Brother host have one son together, Charlie, who was born in 2009.
Aside from Julie Chen, other celebrities have spoken up in support of Moonves since Farrow’s report was published, according to USA Today. These include X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne, who commented about the “interesting” timing of Farrow’s report in a recent tweet, and veteran actress Lynda Carter, who tweeted that she’s known Les Moonves for four decades and doesn’t believe the allegations made against him.