BEVERLY HILLS—Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of CBS, Leslie Moonves, 68, has been accused by at least six women of sexual misconduct and intimidation.
In the July 27th issue of The New Yorker, journalist Ronan Farrow wrote an in-depth story sharing the stories of women who have accused Moonves. Four of the women who spoke with Farrow said that Moonves forcibly touched or kissed them during business meetings. Two other women alleged that he physically intimidated them or threatened their careers. All of the women who spoke with Farrow indicated that they feared retaliation if they spoke out against Moonves. Writer and actress Illena Douglas, and writer Janet Jones were among the women that spoke to Farrow.
“Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company. I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected—and abided by the principle—that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career. This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution,” said Moonves in a public statement.
According to CBS, there have been no formal misconduct claims against Moonves or settlements made by the company. Moonves is being investigated by a pair of private investigators that were hired by the board of CBS.
On Thursday, August 2 Moonves led CBS’ quarterly earnings call as usual, after the allegations made national headlines. He did not respond to any of the harassment allegations at the time. Moonves lives in Beverly Hills, and married The Talk and “Big Brother” host Julie Chen in 2004.
He’s been CEO of CBS Corporation since February 2016. During his early career, he landed roles as an actor in the TV shows “Cannon” (1971-1976) and “The Six Million Dollar Man” (1973-1978).