The CBS Board of Directors has denied former Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves the $120 Million severance pay he was owed in lieu of his employment contract. This decision was taken after a five-month internal probe of his conduct and the corporate culture at CBS Corp.
Moonves was fired on September 9th, 2018 amid numerous sexual assault and misconduct allegations made against him. The investigation was conducted by two law firms into the allegations against Moonves which culminated in a graphic report that concluded that the company had ample of reasons to fire the television executive for cause, subsequently paving the way for it to withhold the whopping payout.
“We have determined that there are grounds to terminate for cause, including his willful and material misfeasance, violation of Company policies, and breach of his employment contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the Company’s investigation. Mr. Moonves will not receive any severance payment from the Company,” the Board said in a statement on Monday.
The New York Times received a leaked copy of CBS report’s findings, which stated that Moonves “destroyed evidence and misled investigators in an attempt to preserve his reputation and save a lucrative severance deal.” The report also included several previously undisclosed allegations of sexual misconduct.
The New York Times’ Rachel Abrams gave NPR‘s “All Things Considered” the following statement: “The lawyer said that they investigated 11 of the 17 women who they knew of who had made accusations against Mr. Moonves. And they make a point multiple times in their report to say that they found the women credible. And by contrast – if I could just read you what they wrote about Mr. Moonves – they said they found him to be evasive and untruthful at times and to have deliberately lied about and minimized the extent of his sexual misconduct. And the lawyers also wrote that Mr. Moonves engaged in multiple acts of serious, non-consensual sexual misconduct in and outside of the workplace both before and after he came to CBS in 1995.”
Moonves’ attorney Andrew Levander told NPR in a statement that “the conclusions of the CBS board were foreordained and are without merit.”
“Consistent with the pattern of leaks that have permeated this ‘process,’ the press was informed of these baseless conclusions before Mr. Moonves, further damaging his name, reputation, career, and legacy,” Levander said. “Mr. Moonves vehemently denies any non-consensual sexual relations, and cooperated extensively and fully with investigators.”