Brow Beat

CBS Board Investigating Les Moonves for Alleged Sexual Misconduct Ahead of New Yorker Exposé

Leslie 'Les' Moonves, president and chief executive officer of CBS Corporation, attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 11, 2018 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Every July, some of the world's most wealthy and powerful businesspeople from the media, finance, technology and political spheres converge at the Sun Valley Resort.
Leslie Moonves.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Leslie “Les” Mooves, the president and CEO of the CBS Corp., is reportedly the subject of an upcoming exposé in the New Yorker alleging sexual misconduct. The story by Ronan Farrow will include allegations of “unwanted kissing and touching,” according to the Hollywood Reporter, that go back decades.

CBS acknowledged in a statement that it is investigating Moonves: “All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously. The Independent Directors of CBS have committed to investigating claims that violate the Company’s clear policies in that regard. Upon the conclusion of that investigation, which involves recently reported allegations that go back several decades, the Board will promptly review the findings and take appropriate action.

“The timing of this report comes in the midst of the Company’s very public legal dispute,” the statement goes on, in reference to a lawsuit CBS filed in May against its parent company, National Amusements. “While that litigation process continues, the CBS management team has the full support of the independent board members. Along with that team, we will continue to focus on creating value for our shareowners.”

Moonves joined CBS in 1995 as the president of CBS Entertainment and has become a legendary, and highly compensated, figure in the TV industry. In April, Bloomberg reported that if Moonves were ousted as part of CBS’s dispute with National Amusements, it could cost the parent company $187 million to remove him.

CBS’s stock fell 6 percent after outlets began reporting on the potential New Yorker story, the details of which are still unknown. It is expected to be published sometime Friday. Farrow was also one of the first reporters to break the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein and has been a vocal critic of how the media has covered his sister’s accusations against his father, Woody Allen.