CBS board declines $120M severance for Les Moonves following sexual misconduct probe

CBS's board of directors on Monday said they will not give former CEO Les Moonves any of the $120 million severance package he was due under his employment contract, a decision that follows a months-long sexual misconduct probe. 

"We have determined that there are grounds to terminate for cause, including his willful and material misfeasance, violation of Company policies and breach of his employment contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the Company’s investigation. Mr. Moonves will not receive any severance payment from the Company,” the CBS board said in a statement on Monday, which was reported by multiple outlets.


The New York Times earlier this month obtained a copy of the report produced by lawyers following an investigation into the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Moonves. The investigators found that Moonves "deliberately lied" about the accusations from 17 women. 

Lawyers hired by CBS to look into allegations against Moonves interviewed 11 of the 17 whom they knew had credibly accused the former executive of misconduct, the Times reported. 

The report said that, based on investigators' findings, the network could terminate Moonves with cause and avoid paying him the severance.

Investigators said that Moonves had "received oral sex from at least 4 CBS employees under circumstances that sound transactional," and that reports from multiple people alleged a network employee was "on call" to perform oral sex for Moonves.

The former executive through his lawyers has repeatedly denied having any nonconsensual sexual relationship. 

Moonves resigned from his role as CEO in September, hours after The New Yorker published a story detailing allegations that he harassed female employees and coerced one woman into sexual activity.

Six women who previously worked with Moonves told The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow that Moonves sexually harassed them, while four described forcible touching or kissing. Several of the women further alleged that Moonves denied them career opportunities and intentionally marred their reputations after they turned him down.