CBS reaches deal with CEO Leslie Moonves amid new sexual harassment claims
CBS Corp. has reached an exit deal with Chief Executive Leslie Moonves, according to sources.
CBS will donate a portion of Moonves's exit settlement to charity, the sources said. The corporation also reserved the right to claw back all of the remaining settlement money from Moonves pending investigation, CBS said.
News of the deal emerged the same day the New Yorker published fresh claims from six women who allege Moonves exposed himself and used physical violence and intimidation.
says the incidents, which the women said took place between the 1980s and early 2000s, also included claims of forced sex. All six of the women were named. Reuters could not immediately reach them for comment.
Moonves, 68, who joined CBS in 1995 and became CEO in 2006, could not immediately be reached to comment on Sunday after the latest claims. In a statement to the magazine, he acknowledged three of the encounters, but said they were consensual.
'A concerted effort by others to destroy my name'
"The appalling accusations in this article are untrue," Moonves told The New Yorker. "What is true is that I had consensual relations with three of the women some 25 years ago before I came to CBS. And I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women.
"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."
CBS said on Sunday that it takes such allegations very seriously.
"The CBS board of directors is committed to a thorough and independent investigation of the allegations, and that investigation is actively underway," the media company's board said in a statement.
A representative of CBS controlling shareholder Shari Redstone and her company National Amusements declined to comment.
The New Yorker reported on Sunday that the additional six women said Moonves also retaliated after they rebuffed him, damaging their careers.
In August, CBS hired two law firms to investigate allegations of sexual assault and unwanted advances following a New Yorker report that featured claims against Moonves from six women spanning different periods over two decades, from 1985 to 2006.
Also reported on Weinstein case
Following the New Yorker report in August, Moonves said he regretted "immensely" making some women uncomfortable by making advances, but added that he abided by the principle that "no" means "no," and stated he had never misused his position to harm or hinder anyone's career.
The author of the New Yorker articles, Ronan Farrow, previously has written reports that contributed to the resignation of Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein from his film and TV studio following accusations of sexual misconduct.
Weinstein has denied the accusations, but his downfall helped spawn the #MeToo movement that has forced the resignation of powerful men in Hollywood, corporate America and politics.
CBS's board has been in talks with Moonves to negotiate his exit, a source familiar with the matter previously told Reuters.
Those talks are occurring as CBS and Redstone and National Amusements are also hammering out a settlement to a legal dispute over control of CBS.