Les Moonves accused of sexual misconduct in New Yorker report

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CBS chief Les Moonves accused of sexual misconduct

The New Yorker has published an investigation that particulars allegations of sexual misconduct, intimidation and retaliation towards longtime CBS president and CEO Les Moonves.

Six girls informed New Yorker author Ronan Farrow that Moonves sexually harassed them. CNN has not independently confirmed the allegations.

A type of girls, the actor Illeana Douglas, informed The New Yorker that Moonves referred to as her into his workplace in 1997 whereas she was engaged on a pilot for CBS and requested to kiss her.

The journal experiences that Douglas tried to show the main focus again to work, however that Moonves grabbed her.

“In a millisecond, he is obtained one arm over me, pinning me,” Douglas informed the journal, which reported that Moonves was “violently kissing” her after which “pulled up her skirt and commenced to thrust towards her.”

Douglas informed the journal that she rebuffed his advances. She recalled that Moonves later berated her throughout rehearsals for the undertaking, and at one level referred to as her at dwelling and informed her that she would “by no means work at this community once more,” in response to the article.

The New Yorker article cites extra incidents, together with one from the author Janet Jones. The journal mentioned Jones alleged that she needed to “shove Moonves off her after he forcibly kissed her at a piece assembly.”

The article additionally reported that 30 present and former staff mentioned different inappropriate habits occurred elsewhere on the firm, together with CBS Information and its flagship program “60 Minutes.”

In an announcement to The New Yorker, Moonves mentioned, “All through my time at CBS, we’ve got promoted a tradition of respect and alternative for all staff, and have constantly discovered success elevating girls to high government positions throughout our firm. I acknowledge that there have been occasions many years in the past once I might have made some girls uncomfortable by making advances. These had been errors, and I remorse them immensely. However I at all times understood and revered — and abided by the precept — that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I’ve by no means misused my place to hurt or hinder anybody’s profession. It is a time after we all are appropriately targeted on how we assist enhance our society, and we at CBS are dedicated to being a part of the answer.”

In accordance with the journal, CBS mentioned in an announcement that Moonves acknowledges making an attempt to kiss Douglas, however that “he denies any characterization of ‘sexual assault,’ intimidation, or retaliatory motion,” together with berating her on set and personally firing her from the pilot undertaking.

The New Yorker article additionally quotes CBS as saying that it’s “very aware of all office points and takes every report of misconduct very critically.”

“We don’t imagine, nonetheless, that the image of our firm created in The New Yorker represents a bigger group that does its greatest to deal with its tens of hundreds of staff with dignity and respect. We’re seeing vigorous discourse in our nation about equality, inclusion, and security within the office, and CBS is dedicated to being a part of the answer to these vital points,” the corporate mentioned in its assertion.

CNN has obtained the statements from Moonves and CBS.

Related: CBS thrives despite Sumner Redstone’s Viacom turmoil

The article additionally consists of allegations that “60 Minutes” government producer Jeff Fager made undesirable advances. It cites six former staff who informed The New Yorker that Fager, “whereas inebriated at firm events, would contact staff in ways in which made them uncomfortable.”

Fager denied the allegations to the journal, saying in an announcement that “it’s mistaken that our tradition could be falsely outlined by a number of folks with an axe to grind who’re utilizing an vital motion as a weapon to get even, and never by the a whole bunch of ladies and men which have thrived, each personally and professionally, at ’60 Minutes.'”

He added within the assertion, “A majority of our senior employees are girls. All of them labored their manner up the ranks and at the moment are managers of our broadcast. Half of our producers and a majority of our affiliate producers are girls. It’s a difficult place to do properly and promotions are earned on advantage and aren’t based mostly on gender.”

CNN has obtained the assertion from Fager.

Farrow, the reporter who wrote the article, rose to new prominence not too long ago after he detailed accusations of rape and misconduct towards the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. (Weinstein, who was fired from his firm and has been criminally indicted for sexual assault, has denied the allegations.)

The CBS unbiased board of administrators on Friday mentioned in an announcement launched a number of hours earlier than The New Yorker article was revealed that the board will evaluation the claims. When that investigation is completed, the board will “take acceptable motion,” it mentioned.

“All allegations of non-public misconduct are to be taken critically,” the assertion mentioned.

Farrow mentioned his reporting Friday night time on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

“You are coping with each a person who’s on the high of his sport, and on whom many, many different energy folks rely for his or her livelihoods,” Farrow mentioned, “And in addition a company that’s on the apex of our tradition.”

Though Farrow’s article was not launched till Friday night, information of its imminent publication despatched shock waves by way of the market. CBS inventory started dropping after The Hollywood Reporter reported that the article was forthcoming. It closed down greater than 6%.

Moonves has been working CBS for greater than a decade, and is credited with turning it into the most-watched broadcast community on tv for 15 of the previous 16 years.

Through the CBS annual Upfronts presentation in Could, through which community executives pitched advert consumers on the upcoming TV season, the viewers gave Moonves a standing ovation.

The corporate’s dominance has not at all times been a positive factor. When proprietor Sumner Redstone, the media mogul, break up CBS from his different firm Viacom in 2006, Viacom was anticipated to turn into the extra highly effective participant. As an alternative, CBS has outperformed its company sibling by leaps and bounds.

Related: CBS crisis comes to a head as Moonves and Redstone fight for network’s future

Moonves has been very properly compensated for his firm’s success. He acquired $68.four million in 2017 for his position as chief government and chairman of the board of administrators. That made him one of many highest-paid CEOs within the nation final 12 months, in response to an Equilar evaluation of S&P 500 corporations.

“Moonves offers sturdy constant management, notably in mild of the breadth of his institutional data of all elements of the Firm’s companies,” CBS mentioned in its annual proxy submitting. It gave a nod to his “stellar repute” with buyers.

The corporate has nonetheless been hit by scandal and controversy prior to now a number of months.

CBS fired star anchor Charlie Rose final November after The Washington Post identified eight girls who claimed Rose engaged in “undesirable sexual advances.” In one other investigation published this spring, The Put up reported that there have been much more allegations than beforehand described, and that not less than a few of them had been reported to administration at CBS Information.

Rose admitted a few of his actions had been “inappropriate,” although he has denied different allegations. CBS Information informed The Put up that it had no human sources complaints about Rose, however that it modified its insurance policies because the allegations towards Rose had been made public.

For the previous few months, Moonves additionally has been locked in a bitter battle over CBS with the Redstone household, which has managed the corporate for many years.

Tensions between Moonves and Sumner Redstone’s daughter, Shari, boiled over after she pushed CBS to think about merging with Viacom, successfully reversing the general public breakup from greater than a decade in the past.

CBS resisted a deal, and later took Shari Redstone to court docket to dilute her controlling stake within the firm.

That court docket case remains to be pending, and it’s unclear whether or not the allegations towards Moonves will have an effect on it. In its assertion Friday, the CBS board mentioned that it’s going to “proceed to concentrate on creating worth for our shareowners.”

In an announcement issued Friday afternoon, earlier than The New Yorker’s article was revealed, a consultant for Shari Redstone mentioned, “The malicious insinuation that Ms. Redstone is in some way behind the allegations of inappropriate private habits by Mr. Moonves or at the moment’s experiences is fake and self-serving. Ms. Redstone hopes that the investigation of those allegations is thorough, open and clear.”

–CNN’s Dylan Byers and Brian Stelter contributed to this report.

CNNMoney (New York) First revealed July 27, 2018: 7:14 PM ET





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