Les Moonves, head of media giant CBS, resigns amid sexual misconduct claims

Les Moonves, head of media giant CBS, resigns amid sexual misconduct claims

Time's Up, which launched in January in response to widespread allegations of sexual misconduct across the media and entertainment industries, said in a statement Sunday, "Six more women have made bone-chilling allegations of abuse, harassment and retaliation against Les Moonves".

The New Yorker reported on Sunday (Sep 9) that the women say they were harassed or assaulted between 1980 and the early 2000s by Moonves, who in more than two decades with the network helped lift it from last place to profitable status as America's most-watched.

It's not clear what Moonves' severance pay will be, but the company said he "will not receive any severance benefits at this time (other than certain fully accrued and vested compensation and benefits)".

Chief Operating Officer Joe Ianniello will take over as interim CEO as the board searches for a replacement, according to the announcement.

"These are more numerous claims, these are six women all of them on the record, also describing more serious allegations", Farrow said on CNN's "Reliable Sources" shortly after The New Yorker published the followup.

Moonves acknowledged relations with three of the women but said they were consensual, and that he had never used his position to hurt women's careers. This money, the amount of it, is dependent on the outcome of this investigation and what CBS believes to be truthful and accurate and real allegations of sexual misconduct.

"I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women", he said.

Les Moonves is out at CBS after 24 years. The company would not comment on Moonves' status.

Moonves, who orchestrated CBS's revival into a ratings victor, had been one of the most respected executives in Hollywood until he was accused in late July of inappropriate behavior stretching back decades.




The L.A. Times said CBS' board will wait until the conclusion of an investigation into allegations of misconduct.

Moonves gave the The New Yorker a statement strongly denying any wrongdoing and his wife Julie Chen has been defending her husband.

But CBS News reported Monday that Moonves severance package was about $80 million.

Jessica Pallingston, a writer, charged that Moonves "coerced her into performing oral sex on him when she worked as his temporary assistant, in the nineties, and that, after she repelled subsequent sexual advances, he became hostile, at one point calling her a 'c--'". Other women told the magazine of unwanted touching or advances.

Moonves "has always treated me fairly and with respect", she said, adding that she remains "proud to work at CBS News". Any additional payments will depend upon the results of CBS' independent investigation and evaluation by the board of directors, the network said.

"For me, it has been another sleepless night thinking about this, the pain that women feel, the courage that it takes for women to come forward and talk about this, and I really didn't know what I was going to say this morning", she continued. He's been battling National Amusements over board control, in addition to the harassment complaints. He did not tell The New Yorker which three he was acknowledging.

Multiple news organizations reported Sunday that Leslie Moonves, who had been negotiating terms for his departure, will step down imminently.

"Here's what I said back then, and I think it still holds, and I want to say it again".

His resignation is part of a settlement that also ends a lawsuit filed in May by CBS's independent board members seeking to strip the Redstone family - who are majority voting shareholders of CBS Corporation and Viacom - of its voting control.

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