CBS boss Les Moonves resigns after sex allegations

CBS President and CEO Les Moonves

CBS Corp CEO Leslie Moonves resigned from the company, the company said on Sunday, amid fresh allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

According to CBS, Moonves and CBS will donate $20 million to organizations that support the #MeToo movement and other groups fighting for workplace equity for women.

Hours after another bombshell report containing #MeToo allegations from six more women, CBS Corporation announced Sunday that chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves is out effective immediately - and, depending on how the investigation goes, he might not receive his financial exit package of as much as $180 million.

Chief Operating Officer Joseph Ianniello will serve as President and Acting CEO while the Board conducts searches for a permanent replacement of Moonves.

As Nicki Swift previously reported, Moonves was first accused of sexual harassment by six other women in another article published by The New Yorker in late July of this year.

In the time that our article was being finalized and reviewed, a new article was published by the New Yorker featuring six additional women coming forward with assault and harassment claims against Moonves.

Moonves denied the allegations, and characterized his relationships with some of the women as consensual.

Last November, O'Donnell and co-host Gayle King spoke candidly after CBS fired former co-host Charlie Rose, who also faced numerous sexual misconduct allegations. The newly disclosed incidents, which the women said occurred between the 1980s and early 2000s, included claims of forced sex, Moonves exposing himself and his alleged use of physical violence and intimidation.

CNN also reports that Farrow told the network numerous women involved in the allegations have been frustrated with CBS' board's handling of the situation.

"Today's resolution will benefit all shareholders, allowing us to focus on the business of running CBS and transforming it for the future", Redstone said.

Moonves gave the The New Yorker a statement strongly denying any wrongdoing and his wife Julie Chen has been defending her husband.

"Untrue allegations from decades ago are now being made against me that are not consistent with who I am".

CBS has negotiated an estimated US$100 million settlement with Moonves, sources said.

Another one of the accusers, Jessica Pallingston, was Moonves' assistant in 1994 and claims that she was coerced into giving Moonves oral sex on her first day. Dozens of other women have complained that sexual misconduct was tolerated in parts of the company. As a result, CNN is reporting that Moonves will announce his departure from CBS imminently.

Silverthorn told Reuters the New Yorker's account was accurate. As of this writing, no one affiliated with CBS or with Moonves have commented publicly on the ongoing negotiations between the two.

In addition, NAI, which in the past has pressed for a merger of CBS and Viacom, said it would not do so "for at least two years".

For its part, CBS has since stated, "CBS takes these allegations very seriously". To CBS, she said, invoking Rosh Hashanah, "in the spirit of the new year, let's make this the beginning of a new era".

CBS said Moonves will not receive any severance benefits and any future payments would be dependent on the outcome of an independent investigation now taking place. Internally, it is being called a "global settlement", meant to resolve months of litigation between Moonves and Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder of CBS.

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