Les Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation Photo: AP

CBS boss resigns after new sexual misconduct allegations emerge


CBS said Sunday longtime CEO Les Moonves has resigned, just hours after more sexual misconduct allegations involving the network's longtime leader surfaced.

A statement posted on CBS's website said Moonves' resignation is effective immediately.

The network's chief operating officer, Joseph Ianniello, will serve as president and acting CEO until CBS's Board of Directors looks for a replacement. In the meantime the network says Moonves' chairman position will remain open.

Six women are making new sexual misconduct allegations against Moonves, who was one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood.

The New Yorker magazine reported the women's new accusations, which included Moonves forcing them to perform oral sex and retaliating when advances were turned away. Moonves acknowledged relations with three of the women but said they were consensual, and that he had never used his position to hurt the careers of women.

Six other women accused Moonves of misconduct in another New Yorker article published last month. Even before the new allegations came to light on Sunday, CBS' board was reportedly discussing terms of Moonves' exit. A spokesman for the board did not immediately return requests for comment.

Moonves joined CBS as head of entertainment in 1995, and has been CEO of CBS Corp. since 2006, leading the CBS network, Showtime and other entities. CBS has spent much of his tenure as the nation's most popular broadcast network, with hits like "The Big Bang Theory" and "NCIS," and its success has made Moonves one of the highest-paid and most powerful executives in the business.

He remained on the job despite the earlier allegations, and there were earlier reports that he was negotiating a buyout from his contract.

One of the women, Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, reported her accusations to Los Angeles police last year, but they weren't pursued because of the statute of limitations. She said that Moonves, while an executive at the Lorimar production studio in the late 1980s, pushed her head into his lap and forced her to perform oral sex.

At another time, she said an angry Moonves pushed her hard against a wall. When she resisted later advances, she began to be frozen out at the company, she said.

"He absolutely ruined my career," she told the magazine.

Another woman, Jessica Pallingston, said Moonves had forced her to perform oral sex on her first day working as his assistant at Warner Bros productions. Other women told the magazine of unwanted touching or advances by Moonves.

In a statement to the magazine, Moonves said the "appalling accusations" are untrue, but he acknowledged consensual relations with three of the women before he started working at CBS.

"I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women," he said. "In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations. I can only surmise they are surfacing now for the first time, decades later, as part of a concerted effort by others to destroy my name, my reputation and my career. Anyone who knows me knows that the person described in this article is not me."

CBS, in a statement Sunday, said it takes the allegations "very seriously" and is conducting an investigation. The network is also investigating Jeff Fager, former CBS News chairman and executive producer of "60 Minutes," on charges that he condoned a hostile atmosphere to women.

The organization Time's Up, which fights accusations of sexual misconduct, said the women had made "bone-chilling" accusations against Moonves. "We believe them," Times' Up said in a statement on Sunday.

Time's Up said the CBS board has a responsibility to rid the company of a toxic culture toward women.

"Remember that the world is watching," the statement said. "We will accept nothing less than full transparency of the investigation's findings, a commitment to real change across all levels of CBS management and no reward for Les Moonves."

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

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BB: Boys are being taught what you claim, just not with your ridiculous and misrepresented examples. Native English speakers can see right through this.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If he were connected to Trump in any minor way , Mueller would be raiding his home at 6am and investigating all his friends. Would also be 100 comments here, not 6.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I read the full story this morning in the New Yorker and want to offer four points:

1. I wanted to *****.

2. Farrow should win a Pullitzer.

3. Moonves shuold be castrated and imprisoned.

4. These women were incredibly brave to come forward.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He should resign to prison if guilty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

you don't dip your pen in the company's ink

Wouldn't that solve many of these issues?

Screwed up a few times, by agreeing some dates, but I wasn't the instigator and learned quickly it was a bad idea. Never repeated it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sexual harassment won't go away until we change the education system. Look at what we're teaching young boys when they're most impressionable.

Romeo and Juliet - She turns down his advances repeatedly but he keeps stalking her. What's the message to young boys... even if she says no, it's okay to keep persisting until you win her over.

Sleeping Beauty - The man kisses the girl while she's sleeping... without consent! Boys are taught that if you have a sexual impulse towards a girl, act on it, even if she hasn't consented.

Cinderella - She runs away from him, which would be interpreted as disinterest in any modern harassment case, yet he pursues her stalkishly across the whole town until he finds her. What's the message for boys, if you want her, chase her.

Boys are being taught to chase and pursue and that needs to change.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

So he's innocent but donating 20 mil to #metoo ?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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