Report: Lawyers find that CBS has cause not to give Les Moonves $120 million severance

Les Moonves.
(Image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Lawyers hired by CBS have found that former CEO Les Moonves, who stepped down in September after several women accused him of sexual misconduct, lied and destroyed evidence in order to save his severance, and the network has justification to withhold that $120 million from him, The New York Times reports.

The Times reviewed a 59-page draft of the report that is expected to be sent to the CBS board by next week. After The New Yorker published the allegations against Moonves in August, CBS hired lawyers to conduct an independent investigation into the matter, and wanted them to determine whether Moonves violated terms of his employment agreement; if he did, the network would have cause to deny him a $120 million severance payment.

The report states that Moonves "engaged in multiple acts of serious nonconsensual misconduct in and outside of the workplace, both before and after he came to CBS in 1995," the Times reports. This includes incidents not previously reported. The lawyers said they spoke with Moonves four different times, and he was "evasive," "untruthful at times," and "minimized the extent of his sexual misconduct."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Moonves' lawyer, Andrew Levander, told the Times his client "denies having any nonconsensual sexual relation" and "cooperated extensively and fully with investigators."

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us