An explosive new report threatens a hefty severance payment for former CBS CEO Les Moonves, who is now accused of having an employee “on call” to perform oral sex on him and lying to CBS investigators.
Moonves resigned in September after at least a dozen women said Moonves had subjected them to harassment, had forced them to perform oral sex on him, exposed himself, and used physical violence and intimidation against them.
CBS’s board of directors began investigating the allegations after initial reports, but there was a possibility Moonves could still walk away with settlement exceeding $100 million. That payout seems increasingly unlikely after The New York Times reported that Moonves attempted to silence his accusers, destroyed evidence, and lied to investigators.
The new allegations are all detailed in a 59-page draft report by investigators, who are attempting to show that Moonves violated the terms of his employment agreement, allowing CBS to fire him for cause and withhold a large severance payment.
“Based on the facts developed to date, we believe that the board would have multiple bases upon which to conclude that the company was entitled to terminate Moonves for cause,” the report says.
When talking to Moonves about the allegations, investigators say they found him to be “evasive and untruthful at times and to have deliberately lied about and minimized the extent of his sexual misconduct.”
In the course of their probe, investigators also learned of additional allegations against Moonves, pushing the total of accusers up to 17. In addition to engaging in “transactional” sex that would violate the company’s sexual harassment policy, Moonves allegedly had an employee “who was ‘on call’ to perform oral sex.”