CBS directors are weighing whether chairman and chief executive Leslie Moonves should step aside as the U.S. television network investigates claims he sexually harassed women, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
A New Yorker article published Friday recounted accounts by six women who had professional dealings with Moonves and said he sexually harassed them between the 1980s and late 2000s. The CBS board meeting on Monday reportedly was scheduled before the Moonves accusations surfaced; the company has its quarterly earnings call this week as well as a presentation at the Television Critics Association press tour, according to USA Today.
Les Moonves is facing allegations of sexual assault from several former business associates, including actress Illeana Douglas, writer Janet Jones, producer Christine Peters, screenwriter Dinah Kirgo, and two additional actresses who chose to remain nameless.
While the CBS board on Monday mulls the fate of Chief Executive Les Moonves, some investors have already made up their minds: head for the hills. He gave us the time and the resources to succeed, and he has stood by us when people were mad at me, and I like working for him. "The allegations against Moonves warrant investigation, however, he should step aside while that process plays out", shareholder and National Center for Public Policy Research general counsel Justin Danhof told Fox News.
At 2:30 p.m., CBS shares were trading at $51.12, down 5.4 percent. "Without Moonves at the helm, we think CBS will be less able to persuade investors that it is better off on its own".
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She said she fully supports him. Jones told The New Yorker that as she sat on the couch and began her pitch, Moonves "threw himself" on top of her and then tried to kiss her. "Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely", he said.
"I'm not actually sure what I said in response, but he said, 'Look, you're really expensive and I need to know you're worth it, ' " she recalled. "But I always understood and respected - and abided by the principle - that "no" means 'no, ' and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone's career".
Moonves has headed CBS Corporation since 2016.
Moonves, who has run the current CBS since 2006, has steered the company aggressively into the streaming arena.
In a statement issued Friday, the embattled media executive admitted there were times during his long career where he made women feel "uncomfortable".