Julie Chen Moonves Addresses Past Feud With ‘The Talk’ Costar Leah Remini

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In her new audio memoir, But First, God, CBS star Julie Chen Moonves delves into her falling-out with Leah Remini during the first season of The Talk.

Chen Moonves and Remini joined Sharon Osbourne, Sara Gilbert, and Holly Robinson Peete on the talk show for that first season, but by Season 2, Remini and Peete had left the show.

And as Chen Moonves says in the memoir, the cast shakeup happened while she was on vacation. “A couple of my co-hosts, while I was away, went to the network and said, ‘We can’t work with Julie anymore. She’s too uptight. She’s not one of us. If she stays, we go.’ And they ended up leaving, and I ended up staying,” she recalls, per Us Weekly.

She continues: “What was so hurtful and challenging about this time was that one of the people who left was someone who I became like overnight best friends with after working on The Talk. And that was Leah Remini. We were buddies. We were, like, going on vacation together, and when she went to the network with this request, I felt betrayed.”

Julie Chen

Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

About a year later, Remini tried to apologize, but Chen Moonves was “too hard-hearted to accept it,” the Big Brother host says.

After devoting herself to Christianity, however, Chen Moonves happened to see Remini’s husband at a party and asked for the King of Queens alum’s phone number. “I called her, she answered,” Chen Moonves says. “We laughed. We buried the hatchet. And today we’re probably closer than ever.”

Talking to People about her and Remini’s rough patch, Chen Moonves explained that she gave her co-hosts on The Talk notes about their job — especially regarding legal matters, such as the Casey Anthony trial that was ongoing at the time.

“They wanted to go on the air and say, ‘She did it. I know she did it,’” Chen Moonves told People. “The lawyer of the show and I were like, ‘You can’t say that. You could say, “In my opinion, I think she’s guilty. I don’t believe her.”’ They were like, ‘That’s not your job to let us know.’”

And Remini later told Chen Moonves about the fateful network meeting. “She was like, ‘Sharon is the one who started it,’” Chen Moonves said. “She was like, ‘Sharon is the one who convinced me and Holly to do this and then she bailed out.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, that definitely tracks.’”

Chen Moonves ended up co-hosting The Talk until the end of Season 8, while

Osborne was fired from the show in Season 11 after a CBS review found that her behavior toward her co-hosts “did not align with [the network’s] values for a respectful workplace.”

The Talk, Weekdays, 11a/10c, CBS

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