NEW YORK: CBS is announcing that disgraced CEO Les Moonves will not receive a massive $120 million severance package. The reason for denying the severance is that Moonves did not cooperate fully with the investigation into alleged sexual misconduct. Moonves lawyer attacked the decision calling it “baseless.” However legal counsel did not say whether or not the former CEO would challenge the decision.
Les Moonves departs CBS following sexual harassment claims
Moonves was booted from CBS in September after several women stepped forward and claimed that they were sexually harassed by the former CBS executives. Les Moonves resigned after The New Yorker released a report detailing new allegations by six women from the 1980s to 2000s.
CBS Corp did say that at the time of his departure, they had $120 million severance for him, but that he would lose it if the board had determined it had reason to terminate him.
The New York Times previously said that a report found Moonves committed “multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct.” He also allegedly deleted multiple text messages and was untruthful at times. Law enforcement has refused to comment on the details that the NYT uncovered.
Les Moonves’ attorney Andrew Levander acknowledged that his client denies having any non-consensual sexual relations and cooperating extensively with investigators. Levander claims that the press leaks have damaged Moonves name, reputation, career and legacy.
Three key figures at CBS have lost their jobs over sexual misconduct allegation. These include Moonves, “60 Minutes” executive Jeff Fager, and anchor Charlie Rose. A pair of independent legal firms were in charge of the investigation, according to the CBS board.
The lengthy investigation determination is that “harassment and retaliation are not pervasive at CBS.”
But the board did fault the company for protecting their top-tier and successful employees in the past. And not working hard enough to prevent harassment. Moonves is looking to pursue the severance through arbitration.