The lawyers CBS hired to investigate the ousted CEO Leslie Moonves may have found cause to deny him his $120 million severance package, according to a report in the New York Times. He was entitled to the $120 million only if he was found to be terminated without cause.
The 56-page-report, obtained by the Times, details the findings of an investigation into sexual harassment and assault claims made by 12 women against Moonves. Here’s what to know about the findings and other details that have emerged since the Times published its story on the report Tuesday night.
The investigation found that Moonves “engaged in multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct in and outside of the workplace, both before and after he came to CBS in 1995,” including previously undisclosed allegations.
Lawyers spoke to him on four separate occasions, and found him to be “evasive and untruthful.”
“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, according to the Times.
He is said to have received “oral sex from at least 4 CBS employees “under circumstances that sound transactional and improper.”
In at least one case, Moonves reportedly tried to buy one victim’s silence. He later was found to have lied about the encounter, despite copious evidence to the contrary.
Moonves also deleted incriminating text messages, and reportedly turned over his son’s iPad to investigators.
One interesting point that emerged from the article, as The Blast points out, is that his wife Julie Chen seemed to have put an end to Moonves’ reign of terror. When he married the Big Brother star in 2004, allegations against him ceased.
Since the stories first began emerging against Moonves, Chen has stuck by his side, even defending him. She stepped down from her role on The Talk, but remains as host of Celebrity Big Brother.
June Seley Kimmel, who shared her story with lawyers, also spoke about her alleged 1985 encounter with Moonves to The Hollywood Reporter.
She said that after an audition, “he held me super close and proceeded to stick his tongue down my throat. It was revolting. He didn’t even kiss me! Just the tongue down the throat.”
When she didn’t respond to his second overture, she says she lost out on the part.