"The Talk" returned on Monday after what must have been a very exhausting weekend for co-host Julie Chen in wake of the sexual misconduct allegations levied against her husband, Les Moonves, and she addressed the scandal at the top of the daytime talk show.
"Some of you may be aware of what's going on in my life the past few days," Chen said. "I issued the one and only statement I will ever make on this topic on Twitter, and I will stand by that statement today, tomorrow, forever."
Moonves, who is chairman and CEO of CBS, has been accused of sexual misconduct by six women in a new exposé from Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker.
One of the four women who went on the record with their names was actress Illeana Douglas, who claimed Moonves threw himself at her while she was working on a comedy pilot for the network in the late '90s. She believes she was fired after turning down his advances.
According to Douglas' account, she was asked to meet Moonves in his office while she was working on a sitcom called "Queens," to be sure they were -- as Farrow put it -- "creatively aligned." She said they didn't talk business, however, and he asked whether she was single before asking to kiss her.
"In a millisecond, he's got one arm over me, pinning me," she told Farrow, adding that he was "violently kissing" her. "What it feels like to have someone hold you down -- you can't breathe, you can't move. The physicality of it was horrendous." When she went to leave, Douglas told Farrow that Moonves momentarily blocked her path. "It was physically scary. It was so invasive ... it has stayed with me the rest of my life, that terror."
CBS told Farrow that Moonves acknowledges trying to kiss the actress, but "denies any characterization of 'sexual assault,' intimidation, or retaliatory action."
In his own statement, Moonves said, "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."
"Interesting timing, seems like an attempt to discredit Leslie before a major court case," she tweeted. "I hope people don't rush to judgement and let CBS conduct their investigation. Sending my love and support to my friends Julie Chen and Leslie Moonves."
The allegations come as Moonves is in a power struggle with majority shareholder of both CBS and Viacom, Shari Redstone. Redstone wants to remerge the two corporate entities, while Moonves wants to keep them separate.
Redstone released a statement denying any involvement shortly before the allegations were made public, though knowledge that the story was forthcoming had leaked early Friday afternoon. "The malicious insinuation that Ms. Redstone is somehow behind the allegations of inappropriate personal behavior by Mr. Moonves or today's reports is false and self-serving," she said, calling for a "thorough, open and transparent" investigation.