Julie Chen on CBS chief Les Moonves: ‘I fully support my husband’

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CBS “Big Brother” host Julie Chen released a statement Friday expressing her support for her husband, CBS President Leslie Moonves, who was accused Friday by six women of sexual misconduct.

Chen said that Moonves is a “devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader” in a statement released hours after six women said in a New Yorker report that Moonves engaged in sexual harassment. Four of the women claimed that he sexually assaulted them.

{mosads}“I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the late ’90s, and I have been married to him for almost 14 years. Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader,” the statement reads. “He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband and stand behind him and his statement,” she wrote.

Moonves released his own statement to The New Yorker on Friday upon the allegations’ publication, acknowledging the possibility that he made some women uncomfortable with sexual advances but vigorously denying charges of sexual assault.

“Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company. I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances,” he wrote.

“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. This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution,” Moonves added.

The women, most of whom gave their names, allege various incidents happened with Moonves between between 1985 and 2006.

Emmy-nominated actress Illeana Douglas told The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow that Moonves pinned her down and forcibly kissed her in his office in 1997. Moonves in a statement to the publication acknowledged trying to kiss Douglas but denied the characterization of it as an assault.

The piece described a culture of gender discrimination and sexual harassment at CBS News and its flagship news magazine program, “60 Minutes,” that the company disputed in a statement to Farrow.

“CBS is very mindful of all workplace issues and takes each report of misconduct very seriously. We do not believe, however, that the picture of our company created in The New Yorker represents a larger organization that does its best to treat its tens of thousands of employees with dignity and respect,” a statement from CBS read.

“We are seeing vigorous discourse in our country about equality, inclusion, and safety in the workplace, and CBS is committed to being part of the solution to those important issues.”

Tags #MeToo #TimesUp Big Brother CBS CBS News Julie Chen Leslie Moonves Sexual assault Sexual misconduct
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