Julie Chen Moonves Laments How Sharon Osbourne Left ‘The Talk’: ‘A Horrible Mess’ (Video)

“It was [like] watching a train wreck,” the “Big Brother” host says of her former colleague’s firing from the CBS talk show in 2021

Julie Chen Moonves lamented Sharon Osbourne’s public firing from “The Talk” during an appearance on “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” Tuesday night.

The “Big Brother” host addressed the controversy after taking a fan questions about the last time she had spoken with her former “Talk” colleague, criticizing the way producers of the daytime talk show handled the aftermath of a tense conversation between Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood that led to the latter’s exit from the daytime talker.

“I think the whole thing was handled really horribly… I don’t think people knew what they were doing and [what they were] getting themselves into. The whole thing was a horrible mess,” Chen Moonves said. “It was [like] watching a train wreck.”

Chen Moonves added she had last spoken with Osbourne eight months after the controversial discussion, after she had seen a photo of daughter Kelly Osbourne looking “healthy and beautiful” that inspired her to reach out.

Osbourne exited the talk show in March 2021 after she defended longtime friend Piers Morgan from criticism for making disparaging comments about Meghan Markle. Some critics, including Underwood, said Morgan’s words were racially motivated (Markle, whose mother is Black, is biracial), leading to an on-air meltdown in which Osbourne said she felt like she was “about to be put in the electric chair” for having a racist friend. Since then, Osbourne has publicly called out CBS and her former cohosts for setting her up to create live controversy.

Chen Moonves exited “The Talk” in 2018 following accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against her husband, former CBS CEO Les Moonves.

The television host appeared on the Bravo late-night program to promote the release of her audio memoir “But First, God.” Near the start of the episode, Cohen reminisced about first meeting Chen Moonves when they both interned for CBS News in the late 1980s, noting he had never known her to be religious.

“I was surprised over the last few years to see how close your relationship with God was. Was that a reaction to everything that went down surrounding Les?” Cohen asked.

“It was more me losing my job at ‘The Talk,’” Chen Moonves said. “That was a decision not made by me.”

After Cohen asked if she considered herself “collateral damage” to her husband’s scandal, Chen Moonves pointed to two of her former colleagues refusing to work with her as the reason for her exit from the CBS talk show before the start of Season 9.

She added that now that she “knows Jesus,” the past is all “water under the bridge,” before adding she is in contact with some of her former cohosts, including Sheryl Underwood, Eve, Aysha Tyler and Leah Remini. She said she was never worried about losing “Big Brother” at the time, which she continues to host today.

“It wasn’t the network who took away ‘The Talk’ for me, it was two of the women,” she said.