Les Moonves, CEO of CBS, Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Adjust Comment Print

Actress and writer Illeana Douglas claimed Moonves made a pass at her when they were at his office discussing a script.

The article says six women who had professional dealings with Moonves say he sexually harassed them between the 1980s and late 2000s.

One of the women, actress Ileana Douglas, who won an Emmy for Six Feet Under, described how Moonves tried to grab her and "violently kiss" her during a business meeting in 1997.

Farrow's latest expose raised speculation that Moonves might also be forced to step aside. He is widely credited with turning CBS into one of the top-performing US media companies. Moonves' resistance to the deal is believed to be driven in part by Redstone's preference that Viacom CEO Bob Bakish be given a senior role at the combined company.

"Not long afterward, Jones received a call from Moonves's assistant, who said that she had Moonves on the line". "In a millisecond, he's got one arm over me, pinning me", she said. "It wasn't offensive", she recalled. Following the incident, Moonves allegedly threatened the victim. She later said she had to leave, and when she walked over to give him a kiss on the cheek, he grabbed her and "shoved his tongue down my throat", she said. "He said, 'No, just you and me.' He said, 'You're very expensive, and I need to know you're worth it, '" she said.

In response to the bombshell allegations, Moonves acknowledged in a statement that he made women feel uncomfortable.

The allegations come as Moonves is locked in a battle over control of CBS with the company's largest shareholder, National Amusements Inc, owned by Shari Redstone and her father Sumner Redstone who proposed merging CBS with media company Viacom Inc VIAB.O , also owned by National Amusements.

More news: What You Need To Know About The Murder Of Nia Wilson
More news: Facebook CEO Zuckerberg loses $16b in 5 minutes
More news: Ricciardo makes massive early statement at Hungarian GP

The complaint also accuses Shari of previously using her power to dissuade one CEO from entering their company into merger talks with CBS, filling open board seats with acolytes and carrying out talks which contributed to the approximately $7billion in market cap that has been lost by Class B stock holders over the past year.

Mr Moonves, who is chairman and chief executive of CBS, has yet to respond to BBC requests for comment.

A New Yorker report on allegations of sexual assault, harassment, and retaliation against CBS CEO Leslie "Les" Moonves was so anticipated that it sent the media company's stock down nearly 10% hours before the story's publication on Friday afternoon. Still, earlier Friday, CBS released a statement that its independent directors were committed to investigating claims of personal misconduct. When asked for comment by ABC News on the report, the company's independent board of directors said it would investigate the accusations.

"All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously", said the network in a statement.

The board is hiring an independent company to conduct the investigation.

"The allegations are said in part to involve instances of unwanted kissing and touching that occurred more than twenty years ago, as well as numerous claims that occurred more recently", The Hollywood Reporter adds.