Les Moonves Misled Investigation Into Misconduct Claims, Report Says

Les Moonves (Credit: Deposit Photo)

Former CBS Corporation CEO, Les Moonves, obstructed the investigation into sexual misconduct claims against him, according to The New York Times, which cited a draft report prepared by outside lawyers for the network’s board of directors.

The report on the investigation — that was reviewed by The NYT — claims Moonves was “evasive and untruthful at times and to have deliberately lied about and minimized the extent of his sexual misconduct.”

The 69-year-old mogul allegedly deleted text messages sent to an accuser’s manager, and he supposedly gave investigators his son’s iPad instead of his own in an attempt to hide damaging information. 

Due to Moonves’ alleged actions, investigators believe CBS “was entitled to terminate Moonves for cause.”

The findings put the New York native’s $120 million severance package — that was withheld pending the outcome of the investigation — in jeopardy.

Moonves’ lawyer, Andrew J. Levander, argued that his client has “cooperated extensively and fully with investigators.”

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The report also accused the former media executive of engaging in “multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct in and outside of the workplace, both before and after he came to CBS in 1995.”

Investigators received “multiple reports” from CBS staffers who alleged that Moonves had a network employee “on call” to perform oral sex on him.

“A number of employees were aware of this and believed that the woman was protected from discipline or termination as a result of it,” lawyers wrote. “Moonves admitted to receiving oral sex from the woman, his subordinate, in his office, but described it as consensual.”

The draft was written in late November and has yet to be presented to CBS’ full board, The NYT reported.

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Moonves resigned from CBS in September after The New Yorker published two separate articles outlining sexual harassment and assault allegations against him from 12 women.

Some women accused the Beverly Hills resident of hurting their careers after they rejected his advances, while others offered detailed accounts of alleged physical abuse.

One woman, a veteran television executive named Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, accused Moonves of “physically restraining her and forcing her to perform oral sex on him.” She also alleged that he exposed himself to her and violently threw her “against a wall.”

In August, CBS’ board of directors hired two law firms to look into Moonves’ conduct at the company and the accusations reported by The New Yorker‘s Ronan Farrow.

Moonves has denied any wrongdoing throughout CBS’ investigation, calling the allegations against him “appalling.”