CBS chief Les Moonves to step down amid new sexual assault claims

Mae Love
September 10, 2018

CBS Corporation CEO and Chairman Leslie Moonves is set to resign after months of legal battles, according to multiple media outlets.

Longtime CBS chief executive Les Moonves, facing new claims of sexual misconduct, will step down soon as part of a wide-ranging corporate settlement of a separate fight for control of CBS.

The incidents, which the women said took place between the 1980s and early 2000s, were published in a New Yorker story and included claims of forced sex, Moonves exposing himself and use of physical violence and intimidation. "And I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women", Moonves told the outlet in a statement.

The report has since prompted discussion about Moonves stepping down from his position at CBS, and the sexual abuse is being investigated by outside counsel.

CBS did not return FOX Business' request for comment at the time of publication. We believe them. These new allegations are in addition to the previous six women who have already bravely spoken out and detailed horrific behavior from Moonves.

The organization Time's Up, which fights accusations of sexual misconduct, said the women had made "bone-chilling" accusations against Moonves.

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Despite what police sources told The New Yorker was credible evidence, the statute of limitations for the alleged crimes had expired and prosecutors did not pursue the charges.

Mr Moonves earned $69.3m (£53m) in 2017 making him one of the highest paid chief executives in the world. The allegations, which Moonves has denied, have reportedly precipitated his imminent departure. 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".

One accuser, Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, filed a criminal complaint with the LAPD past year, the New Yorker reported, detailing allegations of physical violence and forced oral sex by Moonves, which unnamed law enforcement sources told the magazine were credible, though the relevant statutes of limitations had already expired. She claims that Moonves physically restrained her, threw her up against a wall, and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

"In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations", the CBS boss continued.

In a statement, CBS cited the ongoing investigation.

Time's Up released a statement slamming CBS for a "culture of toxic complicity" at the company, and insisted that it 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". He went on to become verbally abusive after she rejected subsequent advances. "They felt this was a board that has let a powerful man who makes a lot of money for this company, in the words of one person, 'get away with it'".

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