Bombshell Report on Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Les Moonves, CBS

CBS will not take any action against him, but does plan to hire independent investigators.

Leslie Moonves
Leslie Moonves, chief executive officer of CBS Corporation. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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Update 4:35 p.m. July 30

The CBS board of directors will take no action against CEO Leslie Moonves after The New Yorker revealed allegations of sexual assault except to pick outside counsel to conduct an investigation, reports CNN. The board met on Monday for a meeting that was scheduled before the bombshell report about the allegations dropped on Friday. The board also announced it would postpone its annual meeting of stockholders, but did not say to when. 

Leslie Moonves has been one of the most powerful media executives in America for more than two decades.

He runs the company behind everything from 60 Minutes to The Big Bang Theory as the chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation, and his portfolio also includes the channel Showtime, the publishing house Simon & Schuster and a streaming service, CBS All Access.

Moonves, 68, has a highly-regarded reputation in the field, and he is one of the highest-paid corporate executives in the world. And since the #MeToo movement started, Moonves has been a prominent voice in the discussion, and helped found the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace in December.

But a new piece in The New Yorker alleges that Moonves’ private actions contradict his public statements. Six women who had professional dealings with Moonves told Ronan Farrow that the media titan sexually harassed them in incidents between the 1980s and the late 2000s. Four of the subjects told Farrow of forcible touching or kissing during business meetings. Two spoke of Moonves physically intimidating them or threatening to derail their careers. All six women said Moonves became cold or hostile after they denied his advances, and that they believe their careers suffered because of their rejections.

On top of that, 30 current and former employees of CBS told Farrow that this behavior extended from Moonves to important parts of the corporation. Farrow writes that during Moonves’ tenure, men at CBS News who were accused of sexual misconduct were promoted, even as the company paid settlements to women with complaints.

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