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 printed an investigation that particulars allegations of sexual misconduct, intimidation and retaliation towards longtime CBS president and CEO Les Moonves.

Six girls advised 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, advised 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 reviews that Douglas tried to show the main focus again to work, however that Moonves grabbed her.

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

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

The New Yorker article cites further incidents, together with one from the author Janet Jones. The journal stated 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 workers stated 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 stated, “All through my time at CBS, we’ve promoted a tradition of respect and alternative for all workers, and have persistently discovered success elevating girls to high government positions throughout our firm. I acknowledge that there have been instances 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 all the time 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 once 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 keeping with the journal, CBS stated 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 venture.

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 consider, nonetheless, that the image of our firm created in The New Yorker represents a bigger group that does its finest to deal with its tens of 1000’s of workers 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 stated in its assertion.

CNN has obtained the statements from Moonves and CBS.

Associated: CBS thrives regardless of Sumner Redstone’s Viacom turmoil

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

Fager denied the allegations to the journal, saying in an announcement that “it’s flawed that our tradition may be falsely outlined by a couple of individuals with an axe to grind who’re utilizing an vital motion as a weapon to get even, and never by the a whole lot of men and women 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 method 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 are usually not based mostly on gender.”

CNN has obtained the assertion from Fager.

Farrow, the reporter who wrote the article, rose to new prominence just lately 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 impartial board of administrators on Friday stated in an announcement launched a number of hours earlier than The New Yorker article was printed that the board will evaluate the claims. When that investigation is completed, the board will “take acceptable motion,” it stated.

“All allegations of private misconduct are to be taken critically,” the assertion stated.

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 recreation, and on whom many, many different energy individuals rely for his or her livelihoods,” Farrow stated, “And likewise 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.

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

The corporate’s dominance has not all the time been a positive factor. When proprietor Sumner Redstone, the media mogul, cut up CBS from his different firm Viacom in 2006, Viacom was anticipated to grow to be the extra highly effective participant. As a substitute, CBS has outperformed its company sibling by leaps and bounds.

Associated: CBS disaster involves a head as Moonves and Redstone struggle for community’s future

Moonves has been very properly compensated for his firm’s success. He obtained $68.four million in 2017 for his function as chief government and chairman of the board of administrators. That made him one of many highest-paid CEOs within the nation final yr, in accordance with an Equilar evaluate of S&P 500 corporations.

“Moonves offers sturdy constant management, notably in mild of the breadth of his institutional information of all elements of the Firm’s companies,” CBS stated 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 Put up recognized eight girls who claimed Rose engaged in “undesirable sexual advances.” In one other investigation printed 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 advised 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 contemplate 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 courtroom to dilute her controlling stake within the firm.

That courtroom 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 stated 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 printed, a consultant for Shari Redstone stated, “The malicious insinuation that Ms. Redstone is one way or the other behind the allegations of inappropriate private habits by Mr. Moonves or in the present day’s reviews 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 printed July 27, 2018: 7:14 PM ET

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