CBS Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves

(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for Showtime)

6 women claim CBS head Les Moonves sexually harassed them

July 27, 2018 - 5:45 pm

By David Caplan

LOS ANGELES (1010 WINS) -- Six women who had professional dealings with CBS chairman and ceo Les Moonves tell The New Yorker that the 1980s and 2000s, Moonves sexually harassed them.

According to the article, four of the women "described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings, in what they said appeared to be a practiced routine."

Two of the women claim Moonves, 68, "physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers. All said that he became cold or hostile after they rejected his advances, and that they believed their careers suffered as a result."

One of those women is actress and writer Illeana Douglas, who tells the magazine, "What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating."

Another woman, writer Janet Jones, who alleges that she had to shove Moonves off her after he forcibly kissed her at a work meeting, said, "He has gotten away with it for decades, and it's just not O.K."

The article alleges that under Moonves, "men at CBS News who were accused of sexual misconduct were promoted, even as the company paid settlements to women with complaints." It is unclear if Moonves knew about the allegations, but The New Yorker says he has a reputation for being involved with management decisions.

Moonves issued the following statement in response to the allegations:

"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."

Moonves is the husband of Julie Chen, co-host of the CBS daytime show "The Talk," as well as host of the network's reality show, "Big Brother."

Ahead of the report about Mooves, 68, being published, CBS shares fell 6 percent. 

And the CBS board also issued a statement in advance of the piece: 

"All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously, the statement reads. "The Independent Directors of CBS have committed to investigating claims that violate the Company's clear policies in that regard. Upon the conclusion of that investigation, which involves recently reported allegations that go back several decades, the Board will promptly review the findings and take appropriate action."

The statement continues, "The timing of this report comes in the midst of the Company's very public legal dispute. While that litigation process continues, the CBS management team has the full support of the independent board members. Along with that team, we will continue to focus on creating value for our shareowners."