CBS Executive Moonves Loses Job and Severance Due to Sexual Misconduct Allegations


Leslie Moonves, former chief executive of CBS Corporation, not only lost his job due to multiple allegations of sexual misconduct but now has forfeited a lucrative exit payment.

A New York Times article reports that investigators hired by CBS found that Moonves misled the company about the sexual misconduct allegations and then tried to hide evidence in order to save his legacy as well as to receive his severance. CBS has concluded that he will not receive a $120 million exit payout.

Over his career, Moonves, age 69, had moved the CBS network into the most-watched TV channel by producing blockbuster shows like “Full House,” “ER,” “Friends,” “C.S.I.” and “Big Bang Theory.” He was a highly-paid executive earning $68 million in 2017.

The investigation revealed that Moonves lied when questioned about the misconduct and deleted texts that exposed his efforts to silence an accuser.

12 Women Reported Sexual Assault or Harassment by Moonves

The New Yorker reported in September that 12 women had experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment by Moonves. At that time, he negotiated his exit including the severance package.

However, lawyers working as part of the independent investigation interviewed at least of 11 of the 17 women who came forward and found their reports to be credible.

Another goal of the investigation was to determine if Moonves had violated the terms of his employment agreement. If so, CBS would be able to withhold his severance. 

Investigation Finds CBS Anti-Harassment Policies Lacking

A by-product of the Moonves investigation found that the company’s anti-harassment and other policies are not as tough as those at other firms in terms of management and enforcement.

In particular, a provision of the harassment policies that investigators called “highly unusual” explained that employees who complain about harassment or discrimination may experience negative employment action that would not be considered retaliation. This may act as a deterrent for employees to raise concerns and could worsen fears of retaliation.

Another problem raised by investigators is that senior executives including Moonves were allowed to avoid anti-harassment training, often by having their assistants attend training on their behalf.

The departure of Moonves adds to the toll prompted by the #MeToo movement. Jeff Fager, executive producer of “60 Minutes” and Charlie Rose, an anchor of the CBS morning show lost their jobs because of misconduct allegations.

We Can Help If You Have Been a Victim of Sexual Misconduct

If you or a family member has experienced bullyingsexual assaultsexual harassment of any kind, or has been injured in an accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultationAttorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Essex County, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.