CBS boss Moonves quits as more women make explicit sex misconduct claims

Marcus Newton
September 11, 2018

Les Moonves, the longtime CEO and Chairman of CBS, has stepped down amid numerous sexual assault and harassment allegations, the company announced Sunday.

However, CBS said he would not receive any severance benefits until the result of an independent investigation into his conduct.

In a report Sunday in the New Yorker, six women alleged incidents of sexual harassment and assault between the 1980s and early 2000s that included forced oral sex, exposing himself without consent and the use of physical violence and intimidation to silence them, Ronan Farrow reported.

Julie Chen is taking time off her gig on CBS' "The Talk" to be with husband, Les Moonves, who just resigned from heading up the network amid sexual misconduct allegations, and Sharon Osbourne says people at CBS - including the ladies at "The Talk" - are fearful of losing their jobs. Golden-Gottlieb said Moonves forced her to perform oral sex on him, before destroying her career.

Under his leadership, CBS has been the most watched network in prime time in 15 of the past 16 years.

The network's chief operating officer, Joseph Ianniello, will serve as president and acting CEO until CBS's Board of Directors looks for a replacement. In addition to the Moonves departure, CBS announced Sunday a resolution of that dispute, which includes an agreement that the stockholder, National Amusements, won't propose a merger for at least two years. Instead, the donation will give CBS and Moonves some cover amid criticism of the potential payout.

All the women said they still feared that speaking out would lead to retaliation from Moonves, who is known in the industry for his ability to make or break careers.

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CBS Corporation CEO and Chairman Leslie Moonves is set to resign after months of legal battles, according to multiple media outlets. I have to agree that Phyllis said in her story, 'Who would believe me?

Moonves had opposed efforts by NAI, which is owned by Shari Redstone and her father Sumner Redstone, to merge CBS with Viacom Inc (VIAB.O), another company they own.

Moonves told Farrow in a statement that the "appalling accusations in this article are untrue". Kelly Kahl, the had of CBS Entertainment, and David Stapf, the head of CBS's studio, have worked with Moonves since before he joined the company.

"As I understand the allegations, and he denies them, but as I understand them, they allege that he used his corporate authority to badger and in some cases to force women to touch his body and in a way that they didn't want to", he said. In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations. The TV exec had accused Moonves of sexually assaulting her on three occasions between 1986 and 1988.

As she wrapped up, she implored of her co-hosts, "Anybody else got anything to say? I wish nothing but the best for the organization, the newly comprised board of directors and all of its employees".

Similar claims were made previously by six other women against the executive, said sources familiar with the matter on Sunday, asking not to be identified because the plans have not been made public. "I love her, I support her always, however this is an important time in our culture and just because this hits close to him, it doesn't change the story", said Sara Giblert. Shortly after his first New Yorker story was published, a source familiar with the situation told me that Moonves was the anonymous subject of a recent article published this past May by Dr. Anne Peters in the Annals of Internal Medicine, under the headline "A Physician's Place in the #MeToo Movement".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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