Julie Chen Moonves is getting candid about her life!
“Extra’s” Mona Kosar Abdi spoke with Julie about her memoir, “But First, God,” and the challenging times she has faced.
Despite some tough times, Chen Moonves is taking a positive approach to life, saying, “It’s always in the darkest times that the light is the brightest.”
In 2018, Julie stood by her husband Les Moonves in the wake of a sex scandal. He denied all allegations. She even took his last name when he resigned from CBS.
Of her decision to go by her marital name, Julie commented, “There were a lot of false stories about me, whether or not I was going to stay married, and I never wanted to speak publicly about what had happened in my family life, in my personal life, and I thought, ‘This is one powerful way of setting the record straight and quieting all the false reports about me.’”
“I didn’t take his name when he was at the height of his career,” Julie pointed out. “When it wasn’t the most powerful name — that’s when I took it.”
At the time of his exit, the longtime “Big Brother” host left her spot on “The Talk” as well.
Reflecting on her time on “The Talk,” she said, “When I left ‘The Talk,’ I made the announcement that it was fully my decision, but what really happened was two of my cohosts, who I felt very close to and had years of bonding with them, went to the network and said, ‘We don’t want to work with her anymore,’ so that decision was made for me. Now, in hindsight, it was a blessing.”
Chen Moonves also discussed making amends with former “The Talk” co-host Leah Remini. While they had a falling out, they have since been able to repair their friendship.
She said, “Season 1 of ‘The Talk,’ I went on vacation and Leah and the others thought, ‘This is fun without Julie here trying to produce the show.’ She and someone else went to the network and said, ‘It’s her or us,’ and the network said, ‘Okay, we chose her,’ and they did not get their contracts renewed for a second season.’ That was a deep cut and I shut her out for eight years. I had run into her and she had tried to apologize. I found the Lord and I learned about the power of forgiveness. I called her and she has always been full of grace and today we’re closer than ever.”
Remini has not publicly commented on Chen Moonves’ claims.
Her tough times led to a spiritual awakening for Julie, who says that she puts God first “before everything else.”
Julie’s religious journey is chronicled in “But First, God.”
She shared, “I looked back at my life and I realized that while reflecting back, even though I didn’t acknowledge God for the most part for the first 48 years of my life, he was there every step of the way. I had to look backward to feel and see his presence.”
Amid all the chaos, Julie “started going to Bible-study classes” and “going to church.”
As for what resonated with her when she heard the sermons, Chen Moonves answered, “It was the power of forgiveness, the power of not judging.”
She went on, “I didn’t know gossiping was a sin, it was, you know, murdering someone with your tongue. I looked back on my career and thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, I got paid for a living to do that for years.’”
Julie and Les share a connection over their faith. She said, “He loves the Lord.”
Today, Julie is on a mission to use her celebrity platform to share her spiritual message with others, saying, “Spread hope, faith, love, and his word.”