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Les Moonves

Report: Les Moonves Destroyed Evidence Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

By David Shankbone (David Shankbone) [CC BY 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons
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NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) Attorneys hired by CBS have released a report that claims former network president Les Moonves destroyed evidence and misled investigators in an attempt to save his reputation and his $120 million severance deal, according to a report by the New York Times.

The report claims CBS has justification to deny Moonves his severance; the former CEO abdicated his role in September amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

According to the report, 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.” It includes previously unreported allegations. Attorneys spoke to Moonves four times and found him “evasive and untruthful at times and to have deliberately lied about and minimized the extent of his sexual misconduct.”

Moonves, who ran CBS for decades and is credited with raising its profile with shows like “Survivor” and the “C.S.I.” franchise, left his post after 12 women told the New Yorker he had sexually harassed or assaulted them. CBS has been investigating the situation because its contract with Moonves includes the $120 million severance package.

One accuser, June Seley Kimmel, told what she said to investigators of her “traumatic 1985 encounter” with Moonves in an article just published by The Hollywood Reporter.

“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 reportedly says.

Andrew J. Levander, Moonves’s lawyer, told the NYT that Moonves “denies having any nonconsensual sexual relation” and “cooperated extensively and fully with investigators.”

Amid the new allegations is one that was picked up by TMZ, that investigators received “multiple reports” that there was a network employee who was “on call” to perform oral sex on Moonves.

“A number of employees were aware of this and believed that the woman was protected from discipline or termination as a result of it,” the lawyers wrote. “Moonves admitted to receiving oral sex from the woman, his subordinate, in his office, but described it as consensual.”

The woman did not respond to the investigators’ requests for an interview and Levander said Moonves had “never put or kept someone on the payroll for the purpose of sex.”

CBS declined to comment but the investigators released the following statement after the article was published: “The investigators and the board are committed to a thorough and fair process. No draft of the investigators’ ongoing work product has been shared with the board or the company,” the investigators said. “Our work is still in progress and there are bound to be many facts and assessments that evolve and change as the work is completed. Anyone who may have disclosed draft information to the New York Times did so without authority and in violation of their obligations.“

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