CBS chief executive Moonves quits after fresh sexual misconduct claims

Share

Hours before his resignation the New Yorker magazine reported sexual misconduct allegations from six additional women against Moonves, who was already under investigation for similar allegations made by six others. CBS will donate a portion of that settlement to an unnamed charity and the company reserves the right to claw back all of the remaining payment pending the results of an investigation into allegations of sexual assault and harassment, sources familiar with these discussions said.

The company announced the news late Sunday, noting that Joseph Ianniello, CBS's current COO, has been named president and acting CEO while the CBS Board of Directors conducts a search for a permanent successor.

As Nicki Swift previously reported, Moonves was first accused of sexual harassment by six other women in another article published by The New Yorker in late July of this year.

Moonves, in a statement included in the report, acknowledged three encounters before his tenure at CBS, but said they were consensual and added: "The appalling accusations in this article are untrue". Daniel Petrocelli, an attorney for Moonves, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday morning.

In January 2018, Shari began pushing for CBS to merge with Viacom which was vehemently resisted by Moonves and the CBS board. O'Donnell added: "This I know is true: Women can not achieve equality in the workplace or society until there is reckoning".

Six more women have made bone-chilling allegations of abuse, harassment and retaliation against Les Moonves.

"CBS takes these allegations very seriously".

Julie Chen and Les Moonves
Big Brother host Julie Chen and her husband CBS CEO Les Moonves at the CBS Summer Soiree

As that investigation progressed it was widely reported that Mr Moonves would leave the network shortly and was negotiating a severance package. The CBS board is being reshaped, with six new directors, and Redstone is repeating her vow to consider new bids from potential buyers. Of all the "Me Too" cases in the past year, this one stood out for several reasons, including the fact that Moonves is a powerful CEO of a major publicly-traded corporation.Members of the CBS board of directors - the same directors who had been backing Moonves in the dispute with Redstone for months - did not suspend Moonves or force him to step down.

CBS had been expected to announce on Monday that Moonves was resigning, but the new accusations appear to have moved the announcement forward.

One of the accusers who came forth in the New Yorker's article on Sunday, Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, also filed a complaint with the Los Angeles police past year, but no charges were filed because the statute of limitations had expired. They also said Moonves tried to sabotage their careers when they rejected his advances.

Moonves, 68, joined CBS in 1995 and became CEO in 2006. She wrote years after, when she made a decision to leave Hollywood for the rough and tumble classrooms of LA, "As an executive in the entertainment industry in the days when women were few and not particularly endeared by the powerful, I learned to be strong and tough".

Allred told Reuters she is representing two clients in the matter who are willing to cooperate with an ongoing independent investigation, "and I do think it is important that the board receive a report". A one-time actor, his wife is the host of "Big Brother" on CBS.

Moonves for his part denies the allegations, according to Fox News.

Share