Julie Chen Returns To ‘Big Brother,’ Defends Husband Leslie Moonves On-Air After His CBS Firing

Julie Chen acknowledged her embattled husband on her BB 20 sign off
Theo Wargo / Getty

Fans of Big Brother were anxiously waiting to see Julie Chen on tonight’s special double-eviction episode. Chen, the host of the show, was business as usual but still managed to find a way to defend her husband. Julie Chen switched things up during her sign-off when she said, “From outside the Big Brother house … I’m Julie Chen Moonves. Goodnight.”

Typically, her sign-off is simply “Julie Chen.” The TV host has not appeared on her talk show, The Talk, since news of Leslie Moonves’s firing broke on Sunday, September 9.

Leslie Moonves first ran into trouble back in July. The New Yorker published a report with claims from six different women that the CBS head had engaged in sexual misconduct; this would be one of two reports that would carry accusations against Moonves. When the scandal first broke, Chen took to Twitter to defend the CBS president.

Six more women came forward with similar claims on Sunday. Moonves was fired and CBS pledged to donate $20 million to foundations and organizations that back the Me Too movement.

Moonves spoke out in a statement Sunday.

“Untrue allegations from decades ago are now being made against me that are not consistent with who I am. I am deeply saddened to be leaving the company. I wish nothing but the best for the organization, the newly comprised board of directors and all of its employees.”

The CBS president had worked for the company for 24 years, according to the statement.

Julie Chen and Leslie Moonves have been married since 2004 and they have one son together, Charlie. Chen’s message on Big Brother was subtle, but it carried a clear message. Julie Chen will defend her man.

The final words from Julie Chen surprised some. A source told People that several in the Big Brother control room gasped. Her first words to the public since her husband’s firing were, “With less than two weeks left, the game is kicking into hyperdrive,” in reference to the Big Brother plot that was unfolding.

Leslie Moonves has admitted to some inappropriate behavior in the past, but claimed he was still innocent to the claims made against him.

Julie Chen’s switch-up may have been small, but it carried weight.

“Now we all know: Julie stands by her husband, not by CBS,” the People source explains.

It is unclear when Julie Chen will return to The Talk. Moonves has not spoken about his wife’s Big Brother sign-off. It is unclear whether Julie Chen will continue to sign off in that fashion through the rest of Season 20.