CBS Chairman Les Moonves resigns Sunday after more sexual misconduct allegations

10 September, 2018, 19:13 | Author: Jared Lewis
  • CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves expected to resign after new sex harassment allegations

Moonves' exit comes hours after The New Yorker published accounts from six women with allegations of sexual assault or misconduct, following allegations by six other women in July.

The network didn't address the allegations directly, but said Moonves will donate $20 million to one or more organizations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace. Any severance to Moonves will depend on the results of CBS' internal investigation into the harassment allegations.

Acting CBS president-CEO Joe Ianniello has vowed to foster a "safe and positive working environment" for CBS staffers as he takes the helm following Sunday's upheaval with the departure of Leslie Moonves as chairman-CEO and big changes to the company's board of directors.

The New Yorker reported on Sunday that the additional six women said Moonves also retaliated after they rebuffed him, damaging their careers.

Moonves said in a statement that the "untrue allegations" published by Farrow "are not consistent with who I am".

Redstone's allies will point to her position as controlling shareholder; accuse Moonves of plotting a jailbreak attempt; and cite the misconduct allegations. And I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women.

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

They included claims that Moonves forced them into perform oral sex, exposed himself to them without their consent, and that he used physical violence and intimidation against them.

Les Moonves is out at CBS after 24 years.

Ronan Farrow, a contributing writer for the New Yorker, speaks with reporters at Associated Press headquarters in NY, on July 27, 2018.

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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".

For its part, CBS has since stated, "CBS takes these allegations very seriously".

"Once that report is delivered, CBS will begin to negotiate the financial terms of Moonves' exit package", sources told the news outlet. "Anyone who knows me knows that the person described in this article is not me".

Moonves's departure had been on the cards, with USA media reporting in recent days that the terms of his departure had been under negotiation for weeks, and a deal had been expected before markets open Monday. "As you all know, there is unbelievable work going on across the Company, and I feel confident we have the best people in the business to continue building on our outstanding success".

Another woman, Jessica Pallingston, said Moonves had forced her to perform oral sex on her first day working as his assistant at Warner Bros. productions. Dozens of other women have complained that sexual misconduct was tolerated in parts of the company.

That's the SECOND set of sexual misconduct allegations levied against Moonves in the past year; now, it appears that what had been a lengthy discussion about how to remove him will turn into a quick and decisive exit.

In turn, National Amusements agreed not to propose a combination of CBS and Viacom for at least two years. The New Yorker report raised the question of whether Moonves was forthcoming with the CBS board of directors about the existence of the criminal investigation past year.

"Every two days, he'd find a darker space, or a place downstairs", she said.

CBS also announced a deal to end litigation against controlling shareholder Shari Redstone and National Amusements Inc for control of the broadcaster and media company.

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