Julie Chen Says Sharon Osbourne's Exit from 'The Talk' Was 'a Horrible Mess': 'It Was Watching a Trainwreck'

The former host of 'The Talk' opened up about Osbourne's dramatic exit from the CBS daytime show

<p>Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images; Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage</p> Julie Chen Moonves spoke out about former

Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images; Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

Julie Chen Moonves spoke out about former 'The Talk' host Sharon Osbourne

Julie Chen Moonves is speaking out about her former co-host, Sharon Osbourne.

More than two years after Osbourne, 70, exited The Talk following backlash for her on-air defense of her friend, Piers Morgan, Chen Moonves, 53, has broken her silence on the dramatic turn of events.

In response to a fan-submitted question on Tuesday’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Chen Moonves said of Osbourne’s exit, “I think the whole thing was handled really horribly. It was very sad to see.”

Host Andy Cohen jumped in with his thoughts, too, as he expressed confusion as to why the issues weren’t solved on-air. “It’s a show called The Talk. I thought they should’ve gone on and talked it out.”

Chen Moonves, who served as a moderator for the panel series for eight years before her departure in 2018, added of Osbourne’s exit, “The whole thing was a horrible mess. It was watching a trainwreck.”

She also revealed the last time she’d spoken to Osbourne, saying that it was roughly eight months before the British TV personality’s departure from the show. Chen Moonves said she reached out “because I saw a picture of [Sharon's daughter Kelly Osbourne] looking really healthy and beautiful and I reached out to her.”

Related: Julie Chen Moonves Opens Up About Her 'Revenge' Facelift: ‘Hollywood Is Not Kind on Aging Women’

<p>Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images</p> Sheryl Underwood, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Eve and Julie Chen, hosts of 'The Talk' in 2015

Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Sheryl Underwood, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Eve and Julie Chen, hosts of 'The Talk' in 2015

Both of the former hosts of The Talk exited the CBS’ long-running panel series suddenly.

Chen Moonves stepped down in September 2018, saying she needed to “to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son." At the time, her husband Les Moonves was accused of sexual misconduct by several women and ousted as chairman and CEO of CBS. (Chen Moonves stood by her husband, who she wed in 2004, and described him in a statement as “a good man and a loving father,” adding, “I fully support my husband.")

She's since revealed in her new audio memoir, But First, God, that her exit from the CBS daytime show was a decision made for her. "That was a hard time," she told Good Morning America on Monday. "I felt stabbed in the back. I was, you know."

Related: 'The Talk' 's Sheryl Underwood Reflects on Former Co-Host Sharon Osbourne: 'I Miss Her'

As for Osbourne, her time as a host on the panel series came to an end in 2021. Trouble began when she defended Piers Morgan’s controversial remarks questioning the validity of Meghan Markle’s discussion of mental health during her and Prince Harry’s sit-down with Oprah Winfrey.

In response, her co-host Sheryl Underwood pushed back against Osbourne’s defense of the British journalist, and the two got into a heated and emotional exchange live on air. “The fact that you don’t even want to take into consideration that [Meghan Markle’s] desire to want to end her own life is connected to her race, that dismissal makes it a racist situation,” Underwood, 59, told her co-host during the debate.

<p>Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images</p> Sharon Osbourne on 'The Talk' in 2021

Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

Sharon Osbourne on 'The Talk' in 2021

Osbourne later issued an apology for her defense of her friend as she said she “panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive” after “being accused of being racist.” Allegations against Osbourne were then made by one of the original hosts of The Talk, Holly Robinson Peete, who said, “I’m  old enough to remember when Sharon complained that I was too 'ghetto' for #theTalk...then I was gone,” in a tweet.

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CBS launched an internal review into the matter and Osbourne ultimately exited the show.

In a statement, CBS said, "The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home. As part of our review, we concluded that Sharon's behavior toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace."

Underwood remains on The Talk, alongside co-hosts Akbar Gbaja-BiamilaAmanda KlootsNatalie Morales, and Jerry O’Connell. The show's 14th season is currently on pause amid the ongoing Hollywood writers and actors strike.

Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen airs Sunday-Thursday nights on Bravo

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