CBS reaches deal with CEO Leslie Moonves amid new sexual harassment claims
- Author: Eleanor Harrison Sep 11, 2018,
Sep 11, 2018, 0:32
The latest New Yorker story by Pulitzer Prize victor Ronan Farrow includes allegations that Moonves, 68, forced oral sex, exposed himself, committed violent acts and derailed careers in incidents that occurred from the 1980s to the early 2000s.
CNN's Brian Stelter reports that CBS top executive Les Moonves will be stepping down after sexual misconduct allegations have come to light. 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.
Joseph Ianniello, an 13-year CBS veteran who has been the company's chief operating officer since 2013, has been appointed president and acting CEO, filling Moonves' post at least temporarily.
A representative of CBS controlling shareholder Shari Redstone and her company National Amusements declined to comment. Three hours later, CBS announced that Moonves was done.
The donation to organisations fighting for "equality for women in the workplace" would be deducted from the severance benefits, it said.
Times Up said in a statement on Sunday afternoon, "We will accept nothing less than full transparency of the investigation's findings, a commitment to real change across all levels of CBS management and no reward for Les Moonves".
"Man, who would have expected the ride we're all having right now?.The money's rolling in and this is fun", Moonves said at the 2016 Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference.
Moonves has worked at CBS since 1995 and has been CEO since the company was separated in 2006 from Viacom.
Les Moonves Expected To Leave CBS As More Allegations Surface
The L.A. Times said CBS' board will wait until the conclusion of an investigation into allegations of misconduct.
"The appalling accusations in this article are untrue", Moonves told The New Yorker. Six women are making new sexual misconduct allegations against Moonves, whose reign as one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood appears to be nearing its end.
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.
"In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations", the 68-year-old continued.
Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb spoke out on ABC News' "Good Morning America" a day after Moonves resigned as chairman and chief executive after the online publication of a bombshell article in the New Yorker magazine in which six women said they had either been sexually abused by Moonves, had their careers destroyed for rebuffing his alleged advances or both. In one instance, a woman accused him of violently throwing her against a wall.
In a regulatory filing Monday, CBS says the company will put $120 million in a trust that will go back to the company if the charges are substantiated and the CBS board decides it has cause for termination.
"I was asked a couple of months ago to make a statement supporting Leslie, which I felt I was as diplomatic as I could be with the statement that I made", she said, likely alluding to a now-deleted tweet from July, after the first wave of accusers spoke out.
The network had reportedly been negotiating Moonves' exit and a possible settlement. Additionally, five members of the board will be replaced with new directors.
"I think this is a blessing from God to be unburdened from secrets and unchained from lies and now is the time for everyone to look inside themselves and become better people and treat people the way they should be treated", she said.