Report: Moonves Obstructed Sexual Misconduct Investigation

December 05, 2018 - 1:46 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) — An internal investigation of former CBS chief Les Moonves has turned up more evidence of sexual misconduct as well as lying and destruction of evidence, throwing into jeopardy his $120 million severance package, according to The New York Times.

Outside lawyers hired by the network allege in a draft report that Moonves committed "multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct" before and after he came to CBS in 1995, the Times reported. He also allegedly deleted numerous text messages and was "evasive and untruthful at times" under questioning.

Among other things, the draft report says investigators received "multiple reports" about a network employee who was "on call" to perform oral sex on Moonves.

Investigators also found that Moonves received oral sex from at least four CBS employees "under circumstances that sound transactional and improper to the extent that there was no hint of any relationship, romance, or reciprocity."

The investigators say they interviewed 11 of the 17 women they knew had accused Moonves of misconduct and found their accounts credible.

The 59-page report is to be presented to CBS's board of directors before the company's annual meeting next week, the Times said.

CBS declined to comment Wednesday, and lawyers for Moonves did not immediately respond.

Moonves' exit was announced in September, after The New Yorker published two detailed stories alleging misconduct. Twelve women said the TV mogul subjected them to mistreatment that included forced oral sex, groping and retaliation if they resisted.

Moonves has denied the allegations, though he said he had consensual relations with some of the women.

CBS said at the time of Moonves' departure that it set aside $120 million in severance for him, but that he will lose the money if the board concludes it had cause to terminate him.

In their report, the lawyers say the network has reason to deny him his severance.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)