- CBS Corp.’s CEO and chairman, Leslie Moonves, has left the company.
- A new report from The New Yorker on Sunday detailed accusations of sexual harassment and assault from six additional women against Moonves.
- The new claims include that Moonves exposed himself to women and forced them to perform oral sex on him.
- These are the latest accusations against Moonves following a July report with six initial women’s stories that prompted the CBS board to investigate Moonves’ conduct and consider his departure.
Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp. CEO and chairman, has left the company after months of legal battles.
The network made the announcement in a statement Sunday evening.
A report from The New Yorker on Sunday detailed allegations of sexual harassment and assault from six more women, bringing the total to 12 women who have accused Moonves of misconduct.
Moonves has been at the center of legal troubles with CBS for months, and CNBC reported on Thursday the board was considering giving him a $100 million exit package. Reuters also reported that on Sunday.
Since a July report from the New Yorker detailed six initial accusations against Moonves, the CBS board announced it would hire outside counsel to investigate.
The CBS statement on Sunday said Moonves would not receive any severance benefits at this time, and any future payment will depend upon the results of the independent investigation. Also, Moonves and CBS said they would donate $20 million to “one or more organizations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace.”
In addition, five independent directors and one director affiliated with parent company National Amusements (NAI) have stepped down from the board, and will be replaced by six new directors. And NAI said it has no plans to propose a merger of CBS and Viacom and that it wouldn’t propose such a deal for at least two years.
What the women said Moonves did to them
The new claims detailed in The New Yorker include that Moonves physically exposed himself to women without their consent, and forced women to perform oral sex on him. Women told journalist Ronan Farrow that Moonves physically intimidated them and sometimes retaliated if they rejected his advances to damage their careers.
The report identifies a named accuser, television executive Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, who filed a criminal complaint last year that accused Moonves of “physically restraining her and forcing her to perform oral sex on him, and of exposing himself to her and violently throwing her against a wall in later incidents,” during their work together in the late 1980s.
Golden-Gottlieb said Moonves retaliated against her after she refused him.
“Every two days, he’d find a darker space, or a place downstairs,” she said. “He absolutely ruined my career.”
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. Early this year, Moonves informed a portion of the CBS board about the criminal investigation.
When reached for comment by Business Insider, CBS provided the following statement: “CBS takes these allegations very seriously. Our Board of Directors is conducting a thorough investigation of these matters, which is ongoing.”
Moonves previously denied allegations in the July report. And The New Yorker reported that he’d said some of the incidents from his 12 accusers were consensual.