Julie Chen Moonves 'gutted' after ouster from 'The Talk': 'I felt robbed'

Julie Chen Moonves has found faith while remaining faithful to her husband, former CBS chief Leslie Moonves.

Chen Moonves, 53, details her dedication to a higher power and Christ in an audiobook released Tuesday, "But First, God: An Audio Memoir of Spiritual Discovery."

"My faith journey really began in September 2018," she says. That month her husband, whom she wed in 2004, resigned from CBS amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Moonves, 73, denied the allegations from multiple women. Chen Moonves claims her husband's opposition to a re-merger with sibling media company Viacom made him a target.

"Now, my husband was against this merger, and it was while he was working against the merger to happen that suddenly misconduct allegations against him from decades earlier arose, and that is when he and CBS came to an agreement to separate," she says. Nine days after Moonves' resignation, Chen Moonves announced her exit as moderator of "The Talk," the network's daytime program she'd hosted since its 2009 premiere. "In short: yes, I was collateral damage," she says.

A spokesperson for CBS declined to comment. But Chen Moonves still hosts the network's long-running reality competition "Big Brother."

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Julie Chen Moonves has released an audiobook, "But First, God."
Julie Chen Moonves has released an audiobook, "But First, God."

Chen Moonves says the day before the show's 2018 season premiere, she received a phone call. "I was told with my name and my husband's name being in the headlines and all this chaos, two of my co-hosts called the powers at CBS and said, 'If Julie shows up to work tomorrow, we're not coming in.' So I was basically told, please don't come back to work anymore at 'The Talk.'"

Chen Moonves says when she and Moonves left their posts, she experienced many emotions, including anger. "I felt robbed, and I felt wronged," she says. "I felt like so many people that I loved and trusted or thought were friends…wow, they did me so dirty."

"Leaving my job at 'The Talk' really gutted me. It gutted my sense of self," she says, adding that "God that healed that deep cut," and she was able to forgive her former colleagues.

"I'm happy to report that since that tough day, I have talked to both of these people and truly all is forgiven," she says. "Today, nearly five years later, I see the silver lining in what was a traumatic loss in my life. I left a job I loved and never thought I was going to leave, but I gained a relationship with God."

Chen Moonves says she began attending church in 2018 and received her first Bible at 48. She made a decision to be baptized in 2020 and describes herself as "a born-again Christian."

"I am living proof that it is never too late to start a relationship with God," she says. "I was almost 50, a journalist, jaded, full of pride, ego, and vanity. No matter what you've been through, God is right there next to you."

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Julie Chen Moonves claims 'The Talk' forced her out: 'I felt robbed'