"I talked to Aisha leading up to her decision, so I feel like I was there every step of the way," the Big Brother host told Entertainment Tonight. "I gave her advice, listened to what her struggles were, and at the end of the day, I think she feels like she made the right decision [for herself]."
Aisha and Julie.
"She wants to spread her wings and fly as a director, and she has to strike while the iron is hot. We, as her friends, her coworkers, her teammates, we have to support that dream," she continued. "You have to say, 'Go after your dreams,' and she has to spread her wings and fly, and she can always fly home."
Aisha previously announced she was leaving in mid-June. "I started to think about [my career], and if I want to be a director, how can I do this thing I love every day and still make the space to direct a film? And there was just no way to do both. There was no way to do a daytime talk show every day and still be a director," the 46-year-old star said.
"So, I just realized I had to let something go and it's been the hardest decision of my life," Aisha continued while breaking down in tears. "You guys are my family, you know that and I love being with you every day."
"At the end of this season, I'm going to be leaving the show," she told her co-hosts, Julie, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, and Sheryl Underwood as the group joined together to give Aisha a hug.
"We've had babies and weddings, and you know good things have happened, and you know I went through the biggest breakup of my life with you," she told her co-stars, referring to her 2016 divorce from husband Jeff Tietjens. "I could not have done with this without you. I'll never be able to thank you guys enough."
The Talk co-hosts Sheryl, Sara, Sharon, Aisha, and Julie.
Aisha first joined The Talk as a permanent star in October 2011 to replace former co-host Holly Robinson Peete. In addition to appearing on the daytime talk show, the actress also currently stars on Criminal Minds, voices a character on the animated series Archer, and hosts the comedy show Whose Line is it Anyway?.
CBS has not yet announced who will replace Aisha at the co-hosts' table on The Talk, however, Julie says "no one could ever replace her."
"Whether that new panelist is male, female, someone who has filled in before, who is brand new, who is someone who is a household name [is still up in the air]," she confessed. "One thing we are at The Talk is open-minded."
Check out the gallery to see daytime talk show stars who didn’t get along off-screen!