CBS forks over 30 million for trying to cover up sexual misconduct allegations of former exec

CBS and disgraced former CBS executive Les Moonves just forked over a combined $30.5 million to the state of New York for trying to cover up the sexual misconduct allegations against him.

“CBS [paid] $28 million to the state, with $22 million of that going to CBS shareholders and the additional $6 million going toward bolstering the reporting and investigating process for complaints of sexual harassment and assault. Moonves [paid] $2.5 million, which will go toward CBS shareholders,” according to The Hill.

The transfer of money was initiated following an investigation by NY Attorney General Letitia James that found that “CBS and its senior leadership knew about multiple allegations of sexual assault made against Mr. Moonves and intentionally concealed those allegations from regulators, shareholders, and the public for months,” according to a press release from James’ office.

“CBS and Leslie Moonves’ attempts to silence victims, lie to the public, and mislead investors can only be described as reprehensible. As a publicly traded company, CBS failed its most basic duty to be honest and transparent with the public and investors,” James said in a statement.

“After trying to bury the truth to protect their fortunes, today CBS and Leslie Moonves are paying millions of dollars for their wrongdoing. Today’s action should send a strong message to companies across New York that profiting off injustice will not be tolerated and those who violate the law will be held accountable,” she added.

If you recall, Moonves came under fire during the #MeToo movement in 2018, despite being a huge advocate of said movement.

“In recent months, Moonves has become a prominent voice in Hollywood’s #MeToo movement. In December, he helped found the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, which is chaired by Anita Hill,” The New Yorker reported at the time.

Yet this advocacy couldn’t protect him when his time on the chopping block arrived.

“Six women who had professional dealings with him told me that, between the nineteen-eighties and the late aughts, Moonves sexually harassed them. Four described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings, in what they said appeared to be a practiced routine. Two told me that Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers,” according to The New Yorker.

“All said that he became cold or hostile after they rejected his advances, and that they believed their careers suffered as a result. … All the women said they still feared that speaking out would lead to retaliation from Moonves, who is known in the industry for his ability to make or break careers,” the outlet reported in 2018.

Moonves, then the chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation, also reportedly promoted men who were accused of sexual misconduct.

He resigned in disgrace after the allegations against him emerged.

But only now, years later, are both he and CBS finally being held accountable.

Dovetailing back to James’ investigation, it found that sometime in the past, “a captain at the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) informed CBS executives of a confidential sexual assault complaint against Mr. Moonves.”

The captain then reportedly worked with CBS executives for months to prevent the complaint from going public.

“Over the course of several months, the LAPD captain continued to secretly provide Mr. Moonves and CBS executives with status updates on the LAPD’s investigation. The LAPD captain made it clear that he was willing to intervene on Mr. Moonves’ behalf and Mr. Moonves solicited his assistance,” the press release from James’ office reads.

“He assured CBS executives that he had spoken to his contacts within the LAPD and implemented controls to prevent news of the police report from leaking to the press from the LAPD. He added that ‘although it’s not 100% Confidential as we have to bring the [district attorney] into the picture, I think at this point CBS should feel better than they did last week. The key is that NO other accusers come forward,'” it adds.

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Vivek Saxena

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