Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Les Moonves reportedly resigning, 12 women allege sexual misconduct

Les Moonves reportedly resigning, 12 women allege sexual misconduct

CBS chief Les Moonves resigned Sunday, just hours after six more women accused the veteran television executive of sexual misconduct.

A new report from The New Yorker on Sunday detailed accusations of sexual harassment and assault from six additional women against Moonves.

CBS will donate a portion of the $100 million settlement to an unnamed charity and the company reserves the right to claw back all of the remaining payment pending the results of the investigation into allegations of sexual assault and harassment, the sources said.

Moonves departs immediately. Joseph Ianniello, the company's chief operating officer and a longtime acolyte of Moonves, has been named interim CEO while the board conducts a search for a permanent replacement.

In a statement to the New Yorker, Moonves acknowledged three of the encounters (before he began working at CBS) as "consensual" but would not say which three encounters he meant.

Those talks are occurring as CBS and Redstone and National Amusements are also hammering out a settlement to a legal dispute over control of CBS.

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She says Moonves suggested going to lunch on a work day, but instead drove to a secluded area where he "grabbed my head and he took it all the way down onto his penis, and pushed his penis into my mouth".

The L.A. Times said CBS' board will wait until the conclusion of an investigation into allegations of misconduct.

The woman interviewed in the latest story alleges sexual harassment or assault by Mr Moonves between the 1980s and the first decade of this century. Deadline sources have said that a giant $100 million exit package is "off the table", and that the New Yorker reports give the network reason to drop the CEO "for cause". "CBS board also being reshaped, with 6 new members appointed".

Farrow's initial piece on Moonves presumably helped him surface other women who claimed similar stories.

The announcement Sunday evening also concludes a months-long battle for control of CBS between Moonves and the company's controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone.

"The appalling accusations in this article are untrue", Moonves responded in part to the second report Sunday.

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The Time's Up movement urged CBS to "move swiftly and decisively to create a safe work environment", adding: "We will accept nothing less than full transparency of the investigation's findings". All of them said they believed their careers had suffered because they rejected his advances.

"He absolutely ruined my career", television executive Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb told Farrow, recounting a day in the '80s when she denied Moonves oral sex in his vehicle, prompting him to throw her "hard" against a wall a few days later.

Moonves previously denied allegations in the July report.

While the law firms have been investigating, Moonves has been "allowed to stay and continue to run the company", a different outcome than many other "Me Too" cases, Farrow noted.

Last week, The Huffington Post's Yashar Ali reported that, after the Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake incident during the Super Bowl that aired on CBS, Moonves "was furious that Jackson didn't make a similarly contrite apology to him" and she became the "target of Moonves' ire and vengefulness", including ordering MTV, VH1, and CBS-owned radio to stop playing her music. Moonves was married at the time; he divorced his first wife and married CBS on-air personality Julie Chen in 2004.

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