Published: Sat, July 28, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Les Moonves, CEO of CBS, Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Les Moonves, CEO of CBS, Accused of Sexual Misconduct

The CBS board of directors said Friday that it would investigate allegations of misconduct against the company's chief executive, Leslie Moonves, the subject of a forthcoming article in The New Yorker focused on claims about his behavior toward women.

"All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously", the network told the Hollywood Reporter.

The board is hiring an independent company to conduct the investigation. Rumor has it that the allegations are merely a part of a conspiracy to take him down during the court proceedings.

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The New Yorker was awarded the Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service for stories published a year ago by Farrow, a contributing writer, that exposed the alleged pattern of sexual predation by movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

"The timing of this report comes in the midst of the Company's very public legal dispute", the statement from the directors continued.

CBS also read a statement by Redstone denying the allegations have anything to do with a boardroom battle before reading a statement from Moonves admitting he's made "mistakes".

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CBS fired longtime journalist and CBS This Morning host Charlie Rose in November 2017 after The Washington Post reported eight women accused him of sexual misconduct - and that CBS managers allegedly knew about it as far back at 1986 (Moonves was not working there at the time). CBS controlling shareholder Shari Redstone also issued a statement calling for a "thorough, open, and transparent" investigation of Moonves by the board. Today the portion of the board which is backing Moonves vowed to take any accusations of misconduct seriously.

CBS spokesman Dana McClintock didn't immediately respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment.

Although Moonves' behavior is the headline of The New Yorker story, the latest report by Pulitzer Prize victor Ronan Farrow is also expected to delve into the network's culture and its role in enabling bad behavior like that of ousted "CBS This Morning" host Charlie Rose. In 2004, Moonves Wednesday Julie Chen, who was an anchor on CBS' Early Show at the time and now hosts the network's Big Brother. Moonves resisted that deal because he believed CBS's prospects were better without taking on Viacom's turnaround challenges. In May, Moonves' CBS sued Redstone to stop her from taking control of company.

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