“Some of you may be aware of what’s been going on in my life for the past few days,” Chen said while opening the show. “I issued the one and only statement I will ever make on this topic on Twitter. I will stand by that statement today, tomorrow, forever.”
Moonves was accused of sexual misconduct by six women on Friday in a report by Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker. Among the accusers are actress Illeana Douglas, who claimed Moonves had her fired from a CBS pilot after she turned down his advances; writer Janet Jones, who alleges he assaulted her during a pitch meeting while Moonves worked at 20th Century Fox; and producer Christine Peters, who accused Moonves of making an advance to her when she was up for a job at CBS Films.
CBS Corp.’s board of directors is meeting on Monday to consider the fate of the chief executive.
After allegations were leveled, Chen posted a statement on Twitter on Friday night. “I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the late ‘90s, and I have been married to him for almost 14 years. Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader,” she said. “He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband.”
The two met while Moonves was the president and chief officer of CBS Television and Chen hosted “CBS This Morning” and “Big Brother.” They married in 2004, when she was 34 and he was 55.
In a statement to the New Yorker on Friday, Moonves acknowledged a prior lapse in judgement, but disputed other aspects of the expose. “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,” he said. “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.”
CBS issued a statement at the time saying, “CBS is very mindful of all workplace issues and takes each report of misconduct very seriously. We do not believe, however, that the picture of our Company created in The New Yorker represents a larger organization that does its best to treat its tens of thousands of employees with dignity and respect. We are seeing vigorous discourse in our country about equality, inclusion and safety in the workplace, and CBS is committed to being part of the solution to those important issues.”