CBS chief Les Moonves to leave network amid sexual misconduct allegations: CNN

CBS chief Les Moonves to leave network amid sexual misconduct allegations: CNN
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CBS chief Les Moonves will step down from his position in the coming days amid growing sexual misconduct allegations, CNN reported Sunday.

Sources with direct knowledge of the matter told CNN that CBS has reached an exit deal with Moonves that they are likely to announce on Monday. The news of his departure comes after previous reports surfaced late last week indicating that Moonves was negotiating an exit deal with the network. 

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The CBS board reportedly hired two law firms to investigate the allegations against Moonves. Sources told CNN that the settlement is intended to resolve months of legal battles between Moonves and Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder of CBS.

News of his imminent departure comes the same day that six additional women lodged accusations against the longtime CBS executive in a New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow. Farrow was awarded a Pulitzer Prize earlier this year for his investigative report on sexual misconduct allegations from multiple women against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. 

CBS in a tweet wrote Moonves's settlement package will be "held back" pending the results of an internal investigation into the allegations against him.

"There are numerous reports that CBS CEO Leslie Moonves will be stepping down in the next 24 hours," the network tweeted. "According to sources, Moonves’ settlement package will be held back pending the results of an independent sexual misconduct investigation."

CBS launched an internal investigation after the original New Yorker report by Farrow documented allegations from six women, who accused Moonves of improper sexual conduct and harassment. 

The 12 women who have accused Moonves have detailed violations including forced oral sex, physical violence, nonconsensual touching and groping and professional retaliation. Many of the women have accused Moonves of seeking to destroy their careers after they rebuffed his advances.

Moonves has denied accusations of nonconsensual contact, but admitted to having had sexual interactions with three of the women. He declined to identify to which women he was referring.

“The appalling accusations in this article are untrue," Moonves said in a statement to The New Yorker. "What is true is that I had consensual relations with three of the women some 25 years ago before I came to CBS. And I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women."

CNBC previously reported that the CBS board was offering Moonves an exit package worth $100 million.

Before now, Moonves had been allowed to continue his work as CEO of the network as the investigations went forward.