After her husband was ousted from CBS following allegations of years of sexual misconduct, Julie Chen addressed the scandal on The Talk. It did not go over well.
She then took a "break" from the show, but it now looks like her hiatus will be permanent.
Julie Chen has now announced that she is quitting The Talk for good.
Multiple sources confirm to CNN that Julie Chen is leaving The Talk permanently -- that she is quitting the show.
She has been absent from the talk show since last week, stepping back and signing off as Julie Chen Moonves in a display of support for her disgraced husband, Les Moonves.
From what a source tells CNN, Julie isn't representing this as a retirement -- she has other activities in mind.
"She has decided that her main focus needs to be clearing her husband’s name from accusations made 25-30 years ago," the insider tells CNN.
So she will be allegedly doing that "And tending to her son."
On Tuesday, September 18, Julie officially confirmed that she is leaving, via a taped message that aired on The Talk.
"I need to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son," she claimed in the message. "So I’ve decided to leave ‘The Talk.'"
Getting emotional, Julie added: "I have been at ‘The Talk’ since the day it started nine years ago, and the cast crew and staff have become family to me over the years."
"I will always, always cherish the memories we shared," Julie announced.
"Most important, I want to thank you, the viewers," Julie said. "For allowing me into your home every day. It was a privilege that I will forever be grateful for."
Reports say that Julie will continue to host Big Brother through the rest of the season.
But considering that this season ends next week, that does not say much about her planned future at CBS.
It may be that she plans to quit in protest or in solidarity with her husband, Les Moonves.
it is also possible that she is concerned that she will no longer enjoy her former status as the network -- and that she has already grown to dislike the stigma of her association with her husband.
Her husband is certainly wealthy enough that the two of them can live in almost comical luxury, and he may receive $120 million in a severance package.
Though many fans will be sad to see Julie leave The Talk, others have soured on her in recent weeks.
Obviously, she is not to blame for her husband's alleged sexual misconduct. Guilt by association is almost always unfair.
But in defending Les Moonves and affirming that she supports him, Julie picked a side.
That resulted in her getting absolutely demolished on Twitter.
Whether she's doing it as a true believer or because she wants to cling to her husband's hefty bank account, a lot of The Talk viewers are less than enamored with Julie these days.
As for the statement that Julie will be trying to defend Les' name ... we're not sure what to make of that.
She's not, like, the world's greatest detective, and we don't mean that as an insult.
Let's imagine that Les Moonves is totally innocent of sexual misconduct and also never set out to personally ruin various women's careers for no conveivable reason beyond capriciousness and spite.
How exactly is Julie going to prove that he's been framed for this? And how does quitting The Talk free her up to make her case?
Many fans believe that Julie is just using this as an excuse to step back from the camera because she is embarrassed.
Julie certainly seems to be either embarrassed or not interested in hearing anyone else's opinion.
She has turned off Instagram comments -- on posts going back for months.
We understand that the topic is upsetting, but if she wishes to continue to enjoy the privileges of being a public figure, she may want to accept that people who don't personally work for her are going to have thoughts about her husband.
If she decides to fade from public life along with her husband, well, people may give her a break eventually.
But it's harder to imagine fans being so forgiving if she really does try to set about proving that her husband is innocent.