Les Moonves to Remain CBS CEO While Outside Counsel Investigates Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Les Moonves attends the The Carpool Karaoke: The Series on Apple Music Launch Party at Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, California. INSTARimages.com

A decision has not yet been made. The CBS board met on Monday, July 30, to discuss the sexual misconduct allegations made against the network’s chairman-CEO, Les Moonves and decided to keep Moonves in place – for now.

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“CBS Corporation announced today that its Board of Directors is in the process of selecting outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation. No other action was taken on this matter at today’s board meeting,” the network said in a statement. “Additionally, the Board determined to postpone CBS Corporation’s 2018 annual meeting of stockholders that was previously scheduled to be held on August 10, 2018.”

On Friday, July 27, The New Yorker published a report by Ronan Farrow in which six women accused Moonves of sexual misconduct. Actress Illeana Douglas was among the accusers, claiming the network honcho had “sexually assaulted” her and fired from her comedy pilot when she did not participate. The article details multiple disturbing allegations by the women.

Julie Chen and Les Moonves attend the ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Premiere on September 19, 2017. O'Connor/AFF-USA.com / MEGA TheMegaAgency.com

The CBS board announced Friday they were investigating claims made against the network’s 68-year-old CEO. “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,” the network stated.

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The statement continued: “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. 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.”

Following the allegations, Moonves’ wife and The Talk host Julie Chen defended him on Twitter. “I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the mid-90s, and I have been married to him for almost 14 years,” Chen, 48, wrote in a statement on Friday. “Leslie is a good man and loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader. He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband and stand behind him and his statement.”

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On Monday, Chen reiterated her statement during The Talk. “Some you may be aware of what’s been going on in my life for the last few days,” the host said. “I issued the one and only statement I will ever make on this topic on Twitter, and I will stand by that statement today, tomorrow, forever.”

Moonves has not yet commented on the allegations.

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