Les Moonves Had an Employee 'On Call for Oral Sex,' Lawyers Say

Les Moonves Had an Employee 'On Call for Oral Sex,' Lawyers Say

Disgraced ex-CBS executive Les Moonves obstructed a network-led investigation into sexual misconduct claims made against him in an effort to save his enormous severance package, according to a new report.

The newspaper, citing the draft of a report prepared for the company's board, said lawyers who conducted the inquiry found that Moonves destroyed evidence and misled investigators in a bid to save his reputation and his severance deal. Moonves stepped down from the network in September after the allegations. They found credible reports of harassment, and also determined that Moonves received oral sex from at least four employees "under circumstances that sound transactional and improper to the extent that there was no hint of any relationship, romance, or reciprocity (especially given what we know about his history of more or less forced oral sex with women with whom he has no ongoing relationship)".

The New York Times also reports that a board member at CBS was informed of an alleged assault more than a decade ago, but continued to support Moonves.

The Times also reports that investigators found at least one CBS board member knew of the sexual misconduct allegations about Moonves before joining the board in 2007 and that previous year, CBS's former head of communications learned of a sexual misconduct allegation against Moonves but did not report it.

Moonves has rejected allegations of nonconsensual sexual misconduct, and through a lawyer, denied to the Times that an employee was kept on payroll for sexual purposes.

Moonves has vehemently denied the allegations and moved to paint some incidents as consensual. He never put or kept someone on the payroll for the objective of sex.

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It said, the woman did not respond to the investigators' requests for an interview.

Moonves was one of the highest-paid executives in the nation, making a total of almost $140 million in the two years before he lost his job. As a result, Moonves may be barred from receiving the controversial $120 million severance package he had been promised under his contract. But the network warned he will lose the money if the board concludes it had cause to terminate him. The Times said the lawyers have now identified a total of 17 women.

While at a Variety magazine event in 2017, Moonves addressed sexual harassment, saying he thought it's "important that a company's culture will not allow for this".

Since then, even more allegations have come to light, most recently in a Times story last week.

The investigation began in August and is being led by two former federal prosecutors now with highly regarded law firms: Nancy Kestenbaum and Mary Jo White, who was also head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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