CBS Board Expected To Take Up Leslie Moonves Allegations At Meeting Tomorrow

By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Dominic Patten

Leslie Moonves
Associated Press

CBS’s board of directors is expected to take up the allegations of sexual misconduct against Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves Monday, at its regularly scheduled meeting, sources say.

The board is scheduled to meet via conference in advance of its second-quarter earnings report on Thursday.

It is unclear whether the media company’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, will take part. The two have been locked in an acrimonious legal battle over CBS’s efforts to limit the Redstone family’s grip over the company.

The media company’s independent directors issued a statement ahead of Friday’s New Yorker investigation release, in which six women describe unwanted kissing and touching — often during business meetings.

The independent directors said they take all allegations of misconduct seriously, and would conduct an investigation.

The board’s selection of an investigator will be done independently from the media company. Th directors also are expected to take a deeper look into CBS’ “culture,” alongside its examination of the allegations against Moonves.

Moonves is expected to remain at the helm of the company during this process.

When women came forward months ago to accuse former CBS News anchor Charlie Rose of sexual harassment and misconduct, the media company hired an outside law firm to investigate the allegations raised by more than two dozen accusers.

Investigative reporter Ronan Farrow interviewed the women who allege that, between the nineteen-eighties and the late aughts, they were sexually harassed by Moonves and suffered professionally after rebuffing his advances.

“What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating,” actress and writer Illeana Douglas said in the New Yorker account, which published online Friday and will appear in the August 6 & 13, 2018 print issue.

All of the women who spoke with Farrow said they feared retaliation by Moonves, who is among the industry’s most powerful and well-compensated executives.

“I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances,” Moonves told the New Yorker. “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.”

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