Julie Chen may no longer be married to the president of CBS, but the former Talk co-host got her wish when it came to her replacement on the network’s long-running daytime chatfest. On the heels of the official announcement that Carrie Ann Inaba will be Julie Chen’s permanent replacement on The Talk, the Dancing with the Stars judge told Entertainment Tonight she has received plenty of love and support from the former co-host of the Emmy winning show.
“Julie has been exceptionally loving,” Inaba told ET following her first day as a permanent co-host on The Talk. “I have so much respect for her.”
Carrie Ann Inaba also revealed that Julie Chen sent her a special gift when the official announcement of her new role on the show was made.
“She sent me flowers. She was one of the first people to send me flowers and I just have so much love in my heart for her. She’s a strong woman, and I know she’s going through a lot, and I just send her all my love. I am so grateful for her.”
Carrie Ann Inaba has been a popular guest co-host on The Talk for the past year, but her appearances increased dramatically after Julie Chen stepped down from the show in September amid the aftermath of her husband Les Moonves’ sex scandal. Moonves lost his position as CBS president and CEO after more than two dozen women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against him dating back decades before he married Chen.
— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) January 2, 2019
During her taped goodbye message to fans in September, Julie Chen even pitched an idea for her replacement in The Talk co-hosting chair, addressing Carrie Ann Inaba directly in her farewell video message.
“Carrie Ann,” Julie Chen said to the longtime Dancing with the Stars judge. “I don’t know, but in my opinion, you look awful good sitting in that chair my Asian sister. I’m just saying.”
The studio audience cheered at Chen’s suggestion, and a later camera pan to Inaba showed The Talk guest host in tears.
In an interview on The Steve Show, host Steve Harvey later asked Carrie Ann Inaba if she would ever consider taking Julie Chen’s seat at The Talk table.
“When she made that video announcement I was shocked,” Inaba revealed. “I was shocked that she even mentioned my name. So of course, who wouldn’t want to take an opportunity like that. I’m still kind of in shock and honored that she even supported her Asian sister. Not a lot of women do that. She showed me what she’s made of. ‘I support you my Asian sister’ as she’s going through so much. I have respect.”
The Talk airs weekdays on CBS.