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How Anchor Julie Chen Moonves Learned to Forgive: ‘God Before Anything and Everything’

Photo from Julie Chen’s Instagram

How Anchor Julie Chen Moonves Learned to Forgive: ‘God Before Anything and Everything’

By Movieguide® Staff

For television producer and news anchor Julie Chen Moonves, faith in God helped her to forgive, reconcile and find eternal hope after a difficult season where she felt betrayed.

The former THE TALK host recently shared her testimony in a new audiobook titled, “But First, God.

In the audiobook Chen talks about coming to faith in God in 2018 following her husband, Les Moonves, being forced to step down as chairman of CBS due sexual misconduct allegations. As a result, Chen was also forced to step down from THE TALK

“Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader. He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband and stand behind him,” she said of her husband.

However, the situation still left Chen confused and angry.

“It was confusing and scary and I was at a loss,” Chen Moonves explained in her audiobook. “I just didn’t know what to do. I was scared about how my family was going to react to all of this. You have to understand my parents are old school immigrants. My dad is old school Chinese father — very into being upright and honorable. And it was amazing because my father was one of the people who was there for me and my husband the most. I think he was more upset than my husband and I were.

“After my husband and I left our jobs, I was a ball of mixed emotions and at the top of the list I was angry, I was frustrated, I felt robbed, and I felt wronged. I felt like so many people that I loved and trusted or thought were friends… wow, they did me so dirty,” she added.

After her exit from THE TALK, Chen opened up about the lack of integrity that her superiors wanted to force upon their journalists.

“Now, I’ll tell you the true story,” she noted. “We were in a small meeting and one of the producers wanted me and my co-hosts to go on the air and basically lie for a story that would sound very sensational and get viewers. But it wasn’t true. It wasn’t true. And I’m a journalist. I went to journalism school.”

“It got to the point where we went toe-to-toe and I remember saying to this person, ‘The gun is in my mouth over this. I’m not doing it. I’m not going on the air and lying,’” the audiobook continued. “It was basically Julie Chen’s character assassination time. You could say anything you wanted about me and it would go to print, and it did. And the article even said, no one else corroborated this one story. This one anonymous person said it happened. And it felt awful.”

Later in the audiobook, Chen opened up about being an Asian-American news anchor, and how her race forced her to switch jobs, caused co-hosts to leave due to complaints about her, and falling outs with people she thought were her friends.

“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,” she said.

Chen admitted that she ignored many of her former friends out of animosity, until finding faith in God changed her perspective.

Despite a season of tremendous difficulty for Chen, she noted that everything changed when “God entered the picture big time.”

Chen said that she felt called to forgive Remini and a party for the former co-worker’s husband.

“If I didn’t have Jesus in my life at that point, I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to hunt him down and say hello,” she recalled. “I know God says to forgive. So I called her, she answered. We laughed. We buried the hatchet. And today we’re probably closer than ever. Leah did try to apologize to me a year after our friendship blew up, but I was too hard-hearted to accept it. Without faith in my life, I didn’t understand the importance of forgiveness, but the Bible tells us very clearly to forgive one another.”

“I don’t know if I could’ve reconciled if I didn’t have God in my life,” she said.

“God before anything and everything,” she continued. “Once I started that, I found peace, but most of all I found hope.”


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