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Report: CBS head Les Moonves to step down after more women come forward against him

Explosive new sexual assault allegations are hastening his departure.


Ellen Ioanes


Posted on Sep 9, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 6:57 am CDT

Les Moonves, the head of CBS, will step down amid allegations of sexual harassment, according to the New Yorker.

Allegations first surfaced several weeks ago; the new reports come as six more women have said he abused them. An explosive new report by Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker on Sunday details the alleged abuse.

Farrow originally broke the news in late July, with an article detailing the sexual abuse and toxic culture Moonves, 68, enabled during his tenure at the broadcasting giant.

The original allegations span decades, the earliest starting in the 1980s. According to Farrow’s reporting, four women said they experienced “forcible kissing or touching during business meetings,” and two women said that he intimidated them physically or professionally. Dozens more said that the toxic culture extended to other areas of the CBS orbit, including the news programs CBS News and 60 Minutes.

New allegations include those from TV executive Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, who told Farrow that Moonves forced her to perform oral sex on him, exposed himself to her, and violently threw her against a wall when they worked together in the 1980s.

In the 1990s, Moonves allegedly forced writer Jessica Pallingston, who was working as his assistant at the time, to perform oral sex on him.

Moonves has admitted to three of the allegations but claims that they were consensual.

The allegations are particularly troubling in light of Moonves’ support for the #MeToo movement. After Farrow’s reporting ended Harvey Weinstein’s career last October, Moonves helped found the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, and he was a vocal proponent of women coming forward to share their experiences of harassment and assault.

Moonves is currently negotiating his exit from CBS, which is coming by Monday, according to sources with knowledge of the negotiations.

H/T the New Yorker

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*First Published: Sep 9, 2018, 2:16 pm CDT