Speed Reads


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

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."

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