Chen Moonves, 53, recalled feeling like she was “robbed” and “wronged” when she left the daytime series in 2018 after eight years of moderating the talk show. “I felt like so many people that I loved and trusted or thought were friends … wow, they did me so dirty,” she noted.
The TV personality was 48 at the time of her exit. “When you work in front of the television and you are a woman, you are expected to look … I’m just gonna say it: young. You’re expected to be pleasing to the eye and society, especially Hollywood is not kind on aging women,” she continued. “And I knew part of my bread and butter being in front of the camera was to maintain how I looked, stay out of the sun, put on sunblock and yes, if I have to, go under the knife.”
Chen Moonves chose to get a “lower facelift,” in part because she was “expected to look not drastically different” from how fans have seen her on their screens, but the procedure also had a deeper meaning.
“I think I did it as a form of healing, a form of [proving], ‘These meanies can’t get me down. I’m gonna look so good when I come back on the air,’” she explained. “You know how some people, when they get broken up with by a loved one, they get a revenge body? Well, I wanted to get a revenge face.”
Chen Moonves thought the cosmetic surgery would be subtle enough that her supporters — and even her haters — would simply think she was “fabulous and rested.” She continued, “But leaving one of my doctor’s appointments looking totally unrecognizable and completely bandaged up like a mummy, little did I know I got caught by the paparazzi.”
Her exit from The Talk came days after her husband, Les Moonves, was axed from CBS. At the time, more than a dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct. He denied the allegations, and Chen Moonves publicly stood by his side.
“He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being,” she tweeted in 2018, calling Moonves, 73, “a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader.”
In But First, God, Chen Moonves shed more light about the couple’s departures, referring to herself as “collateral damage” and hinting that the decision to leave The Talk wasn’t entirely her own. While confirming her departure in 2018, she claimed in a video message that she wanted “to spend more time at home with [her] husband.” Chen Moonves has continued to host CBS’ Big Brother, which kicked off its 25th season in August.