Les Moonves Has Reached a Settlement to Leave CBS


As CBS reportedly finalizes Les Moonves' departure as the network's chairman and CEO amid mounting sexual misconduct allegations, women and their allies are demanding he hit the road sans payout.

According to Deadline, the Moonves responded to the New Yorker report in a statement that claimed three of the six accusations were from women with whom he had consensual encounters. And I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women. CBS will donate a portion of that settlement to an unnamed charity and the company reserves the right to claw back all of the remaining payment pending the results of an investigation into allegations of sexual assault and harassment, sources familiar with these discussions said.

"As of a couple of days ago, they were still talking about potentially letting him leave with a very generous exit package, up to the neighborhood of $100 million", Farrow said on CNN.

Ronan Farrow, who dug up the scoop, learned of six women who claim to have been sexually harassed and assaulted by Moonves, in addition to others who've already come forward.

Among the claims made in both waves of allegations are that Moonves has a habit of setting up meetings with women, making sure no one else but him is around, and then making aggressive sexual advances.

Long-time CBS chief Les Moonves.

One of the women, Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, reported her accusations to Los Angeles police previous year, but they weren't pursued because of the statute of limitations.

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Moonves' allies will surely cast his exit as a corporate coup - a successful effort by Redstone to gain a tighter grip on CBS. As CEO of CBS, Moonves has a tremendous amount of power over the board of directors, and while his contract stipulates that he can be fired sans compensation over sexual harassment, there are still a number of provisos in place that grant the CEO a golden parachute of up to $100 million dollars.

Some allege he forced them to perform oral sex or exposed himself without their consent.

"The appalling accusations in this article are untrue", Moonves said in a statement to The New Yorker.

She said that Moonves, while an executive at the Lorimar production studio in the late 1980s, pushed her head into his lap and forced her to perform oral sex.

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

Time's Up said the CBS board has a responsibility to rid the company of a toxic culture toward women. "You sort of black out", she said at the time. "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".

Some say he damaged their careers when they rebuffed him. "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'".