Moonves Accused of Harassing Women in New Yorker Article

Moonves Accused of Harassing Women in New Yorker Article

Moonves Accused of Harassing Women in New Yorker Article

The network's board of directors announced that it will launch an investigation into the claims against Moonves.

A handful of celebrities and executives are tweeting their support for embattled CBS chief Les Moonves in the wake of an in-depth New Yorker article detailing sexual harassment allegations against the longtime executive.

Ross has been at CBS for more than 25 years and in 2002 became the first woman to serve as ad sales chief at a broadcast TV network.

In a statement to the New Yorker, CBS said that while it is "mindful of all workplace issues and takes each report of misconduct very seriously", it does not agree with Farrow's depiction of the network's company culture.

Moonves is the latest subject of Ronan Farrow, who won a Pulitzer Prize with the New York Times earlier this year for his reporting on disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, which galvanized the #MeToo reckoning over pervasive sexual harassment in showbiz and other industries.

"Six women who had professional dealings with him told me that, between the nineteen-eighties and the late aughts, Moonves sexually harassed them", Farrow wrote. Actress Illeana Douglas says in 1997, Moonves attempted to hold her down and forcibly kiss her. Writer Janet Jones says he "threw himself on top of me".

In a statement, CBS said that Moonves acknowledges trying to kiss Douglas, but that "he denies any characterization of 'sexual assault, ' intimidation, or retaliatory action", including berating her on set and personally firing her from "Queens".

In the article, Moonves acknowledged there were times decades ago when he may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances, but said he never used his position to harm anyone's career. And two said Moonves physically intimidated or threatened to derail their careers if they were to disclose the transgressions with anyone else.

Multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against politicians, business leaders and entertainers in the USA have been made in the past year, leading to resignations, often inspired by the #MeToo social movement. The women said they did not come forward sooner over fear of retaliation from Moonves and CBS.

Leslie Moonves, the CEO of CBS, isn't someone you'll see in movie theaters or tabloids, but he is one of the biggest power brokers in Hollywood.

It was not immediately clear what impact his latest expose would have on a legal battle for control of the USA television giant - between the Redstone family, which controls CBS, and the board, chaired by Moonves. CBS and Viacom were once part of the same company, known as Viacom, but were split in 2005 into separate entities, both controlled by Sumner Redstone.

"The timing of this report comes in the midst of the Company's very public legal dispute", the statement from the directors continued.

Veteran TV journalist Charlie Rose, 76, was sacked by CBS in November after being accused by more than 10 women of sexual misconduct. Moonves opposes the deal. CBS said its current "management team has the full support of the independent board members" in the ongoing litigation involving National Amusements. The legal case is being played out in DE court.

He joined CBS in 1995 from Warner Bros. Television, where his team developed hit shows such as Friends and ER. CBS shares were down more than 6 percent Friday afternoon. That made him one of the highest-paid CEOs in the country previous year, according to an Equilar review of S&P 500 companies.

Moonves' wife, Julie Chen, who he has been with since 2004, defended her husband.

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