NEW YORK — Dec 5, 2018, 3:56 PM ET

Former CBS chief Moonves accused of more sexual misconduct

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An internal investigation of former CBS chief Les Moonves has turned up more evidence of sexual misconduct, as well as lying and destruction of evidence, throwing into jeopardy his $120 million severance package, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

A look at what's known about the scandal so far:

THE LATEST

Lawyers hired by the network allege in a draft report that the TV executive committed "multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct" before and after he came to CBS in 1995, according to the Times. He also deleted numerous text messages and was "evasive and untruthful at times" under questioning, the report says.

Among other things, investigators received reports about a network employee who was "on call" to perform oral sex on Moonves. Investigators also found that he received oral sex from at least four CBS employees "under circumstances that sound transactional and improper to the extent that there was no hint of any relationship, romance, or reciprocity."

The investigators say they interviewed 11 of the 17 women they knew had accused Moonves of misconduct and found their accounts credible.

The 59-page report is to be presented to CBS's board of directors before the company's annual meeting next week, the Times said.

THE REACTION

A lawyer for Moonves, Andrew J. Levander, said in a statement that Moonves said he cooperated "extensively and fully" with investigators.

The former CEO "vehemently denies having any non-consensual sexual relations. He never put or kept someone on the payroll for the purpose of sex," the attorney said.

CBS declined to comment.

THE BACKSTORY

Moonves, largely credited with turning CBS around, was forced out in September, after The New Yorker published allegations from 12 women who said he subjected them to mistreatment that included forced oral sex, groping and retaliation if they resisted.

Moonves denied the accusations, though he said he had consensual relations with some of the women.

Moonves, 69, is one of the most powerful entertainment industry figures to be brought down by the #MeToo movement. Others include Hollywood studio boss Harvey Weinstein, NBC "Today" show host Matt Lauer and PBS talk show host Charlie Rose.

Moonves made his mark at CBS with sitcoms such as "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory," reality TV such as "Survivor" and procedural dramas like "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "NCIS."

THE CONTRACT

Moonves was one of the highest-paid executives in the nation, making a total of nearly $140 million in the two years before he lost his job.

In a move that appalled women's activists and others, CBS said at the time of his departure that it set aside $120 million in severance for him. But the network warned he will lose the money if the board concludes it had cause to terminate him.

In their report, the lawyers say the network has grounds to deny him his severance. They say his pattern of behavior "arguably constitutes willful misfeasance and violation of the company's sexual harassment policy."

THE INVESTIGATORS

The investigation began in August and is being led by two former federal prosecutors now with highly regarded law firms: Nancy Kestenbaum and Mary Jo White, who was also head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a statement to the Times, the investigators said: "Our work is still in progress and there are bound to be many facts and assessments that evolve and change as the work is completed."

News - Former CBS chief Moonves accused of more sexual misconduct

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  • Bob Marley

    Blogger - Blogger, I seldom agree with anything you have to say, BUT.....I have to eat crow on this one, you're EXACTLY CORRECT! Good read, thanks.

  • Sundown

    Innocent men do not destroy evidence and mislead investigators.
    I feel for both the victims and Moonves' family. None of them deserve this crap.

    Sick Mr. Moonves.... How nice you have the money to pay for the best mental health help. I doubt a great many of your victims can afford the PTSD you gave them or regain the opportunities you took from them. You will not get the punishment you have earned, you pervert. You'd deserve it if your wife and kids never spoke to you again as they drain your wallet dry.

  • LizzyinNJ

    The higher you get, the harder you fall. See ya Les.

  • Chuck

    He must be a friend of the Orange Clown, or at least consulted with him. Too damn funny. It's too damn funny watching all of these men being knocked down due to the brain in their pants.

  • SJ Benny

    It is still mind-boggling that even after you become successful and have a great family, millions of dollars, and an amazing wife by your side, these horrible men will go into above-the-law mode. You're gonna get caught. You're gonna lose everything. You're gonna shame your family for the rest of their lives. And yet, I can do it. Everybody else gets caught. Not me.
    Les deserves to now lose it all and be admonished to a life of shame and humiliation. Time's up, Les. B-bye.

  • Jane beard

    Julie must be so proud of that husband she stole and I’m sure first wife is really glad he’s gone right about now

  • Jan515

    What a loser, and he said he was going to do something about sexual misconduct when Charlie Rose was fired at CBC. What a joke when he was hitting on women too.

  • RohnertPark1

    Doesn't matter whether it was consensual, others knew about it and she worked for him. This type of behavior needs to stop

  • Sassy

    BJ And The Bear was his favorite show.

  • Blkhawksgrl

    Sounds like others were jealous in the first case...

  • brad

    Is it wrong to have sex in the office? Ask George Costanza. Moonves deserves a cashmere parachute but not million$.

  • Bongs&Thongs

    seeing they already agreed to give him the money if he gave 20 million to charity i doubtthey will get out of paying him.. but dude is already worth half a billion so unless mrs chin uses this to get out of a prenup he will be just fine