Throughout his career as CBS Chairman and CEO, Les Moonves has rubbed elbows with many A-list stars ranging from Mark Wahlberg and Kevin James to Halle Berry and Anna Wintour.
The network chairman, who has recently been accused of sexual harassment by six women, according to Ronan Farrow’s latest report, published by The New Yorker, could be seen everywhere from Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremonyies to A-list events in New York City.
In 2015 Moonves spoke at the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony for Julianna Margulies and was snapped hugging her in an emotional embrace. Two years earlier, Kaley Cuoco honored him at the 2013 Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame inductions.
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“It means so much to me to be asked to host this in front of all you amazing people, especially my boss Leslie Moonves, who has been an amazing supporter of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ from day one. And a supporter of mine and a fan,” she gushed before making an expletive-filled joke about CBS’ back-and-forth with Dish Network, a topic dominating headlines at the time.
Last year, James Corden, host of CBS’ “The Late Late Show,” hosted an event at New York’s Lincoln Center in Moonves’ honor.
But perhaps Moonves’ closest and most-prominent celebrity friend is George Clooney.
“Les is a dear friend,” Clooney said in a 2005 CBS News article.
So dear, in fact, that it was Moonves’ wife Julie Chen was the one who broke the news that Amal Clooney was expecting twins. She reportedly got the go-ahead from the Clooneys to share their baby news on “The Talk” following a cozy double date with Hollywood pair in 2017.
Moonves bragged about his tight friendship with Clooney in a 2006 interview with The Guardian. During his time at Warner Bros. In the early ‘90s, Moonves famously cast Clooney for his groundbreaking role in the medicial drama, “ER.”
“I was one of the first to read the ‘ER’ script and the good news is George Clooney still gives me credit for helping to launch his career,” Moonves said. “I had George Clooney under contract for four years in a row before ‘ER’ happened. He’s one of the few who remembers the people who helped him.”
Another high-profile friend of Moonves’ is Bill Clinton, according to a 2005 profile in the New York Times that described the CBS exec as a Democrat and “life-long friend of Bill Clinton’s.”
And working in the TV industry as long as he has, Moonves’ seemingly never-ending list of TV credits includes standout hits like “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Survivor” and “How I Met Your Mother.” He’s also credited with putting together the well-blended cast of “Friends.”
In the late-‘90s, he made headlines for reportedly spending a fortune to secure the series “Cosby,” starring the now-disgraced comedian Bill Cosby, for CBS. The show was never a big hit for the network, and Cosby himself has since been embroiled in accusations of rape, sexual assault and harassment that Moonves has said little about. CBS reportedly scrapped the majority of a 1997 “60 Minutes” interview that interrogated Cosby about reports he fathered a child while married.
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In addition to the six women who spoke out against Moonves in the New York Times, more than two dozen company employees, past and present, detailed incidents of harassment, gender discrimination or retaliation at CBS, the report said.
But Chen has chosen to stand by her husband of 14 years.
“I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the late ‘90s, and I have been married to him for almost 14 years,” Chen wrote in a statement on Twitter. “Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader. He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband and stand behind him and his statement.”
Chen’s “The Talk” co-star and wife of rocker Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Osbourne, also defended network mogul and said in a tweet on Saturday monring, “Interesting timing, seems like an attempt to discredit Leslie before a major court case. I hope people don’t rush to judgement and let @CBS conduct their investigation. Sending my love and support to my friends @JulieChen and Leslie Moonves.”
Reps for Kaley Cuoco, Julianna Margulies, James Corden, George Clooney and Bill Clinton did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.