Les Moonves: What to know about CBS CEO accused of misconduct

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Six women have accused CBS CEO Leslie Moonves of harassment, intimidation and other forms of misconduct. Here's what to know about Moonves' life and career. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

In a report published in July in The New Yorker, six women accuse CBS CEO Leslie Moonves of harassment, intimidation and other forms of misconduct, while others allege a larger pattern of abusive behavior within the company. On Sept. 9, the magazine reported that six additional women have come forward with misconduct allegations.

Here's what you should know about Moonves and his career.
  • Moonves, one of the most powerful executives in media, has led CBS for two decades, including the 12 years since it split from Viacom. He revived the company, which operates the CBS network, Showtime and other entities, with hit shows like "NCIS" and "The Big Bang Theory."

  • Before joining CBS, he was president of Warner Bros. Television, where he oversaw the development of hit TV shows "Friends" and "ER."

  • Moonves was the No. 2 highest paid CEO of a major public company in 2017, according to an analysis by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive data firm. He made $68.4 million last year, behind only chip maker Broadcom's CEO.

  • Moonves, who is married to TV personality and CBS producer Julie Chen, was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2013. He also won the Milestone Award from the Producers Guild of America that year.

  • Multiple women have accused Moonves of engaging in harassment, intimidation and other forms of misconduct throughout his career. Six women who had professional dealings with Moonves say he sexually harassed them between the 1980s and late 2000s. Four of them described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings.

  • Moonves released the following statement to The New Yorker in July about the allegations leveled against him: "I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely."

  • After The New Yorker reported on Sept. 9 that six additional women had come forward with misconduct allegations against Moonves, CBS released the following statement to ABC: "CBS takes these allegations very seriously. Our Board of Directors is conducting a thorough investigation of these matters, which is ongoing."

  • The allegations come as CBS is in the middle of a legal battle with its controlling shareholder, National Amusements, which has been pushing for a merger with Viacom, also controlled by National Amusements.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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businessentertainmentsexual misconductCBStelevisionu.s. & world