CBS Chief Les Moonves Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Cristina Cross
July 28, 2018

Before making the move to business, Moonves was an actor. In 2006, New York Times reporter Bill Carter's book "Desperate Networks" declared that Moonves "engineered one of the most spectacular turnarounds in television history". Farrow told The Associated Press that all the women quoted in the article had to overcome "a lot of fear of retaliation to tell very serious stories of sexual misconduct about Les Moonves".

"It'll just be between you and me".

Chen said she "fully supports" her husband, and will stand by him as well as by the words in his statement.

One accusation came from Emmy-nominated actress Illeana Douglas, who accused Moonves of attempting to kiss and grab her.

Moonves
Leslie Moonves arriving at the annual Sun Valley media conference on July 11

"We are seeing vigorous discourse in our country about equality, inclusion, and safety in the workplace, and CBS is committed to being part of the solution", it said in a statement.

Moonves has been behind hit franchises such as CSI that, while hardly critics favorites or youth-skewing hits, have helped the network finish highest in total viewers for 15 of his 16 years.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Farrow's story may also go into the broader culture at CBS. "He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being", she said on Twitter.

How the Moonves allegations impact Redstone's attempts to reunite Viacom and CBS, which were previously one company until CBS was spun off as a separate entity more than a decade ago, remains to be seen.

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CBS said it is reviewing the allegations against Moonves, adding there have never been any misconduct claims or settlements against Moonves throughout his tenure at the network.

If Moonves is removed as a result of the investigation, the chances of a Redstone-directed merger of CBS and Viacom would dramatically increase, analysts said.

CBS Corp.'s stock fell 6 percent. its worst one-day loss in almost seven years, as the reports of the misconduct allegations began to circulate around noon Friday, triggering investor concerns Moonves might be forced to step down.

Les Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS Corp., in September 2017.

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The report was written by Farrow, the former MSNBC host who won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking the story about Harvey Weinstein using his position as a powerful Hollywood producer to allegedly sexually assault several women. "Toward the end of my time there, I thought, God, I love the stories, I love the work, but this has to be easier somewhere else". Subsequent reporting raised questions about the response to those allegations by managers at CBS.

"A spokeswoman for National Amusements Inc said, "(Shari) Redstone hopes that the investigation of these allegations is thorough, open and transparent".

Members of the CBS board of directors say they will take the allegations seriously.

CBSi and Entertainment Tonight are both owned by CBS.

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