Who is Bobbie Phillips? CBS forced to pay actress millions after sex attack claims against Les Moonves leaked
The settlement was 'rumored to be in the tens of millions' and signed in the fall of 2019, the report said
A breach of confidentiality has forced CBS to pay actress Bobbie Phillips 'tens of millions of dollars' in 2019, a shocking report has uncovered. Phillips was one of the many women who accused CBS' ex-chairman Leslie 'Les' Moonves of sexual misconduct. In 2018, the network began an internal investigation into the matter, which lead to details of Phillip's attack being leaked to The New York Times.
It is unclear as of now what the exact value of the settlement is, which was reached in the fall of 2019. Details of Moonves' behavior were first reported in The New Yorker in July 2018, which led to him being removed. The network then hired Debevoise & Plimpton and Covington & Burling to look into the matter. A draft of the report, with details of Phillip's harassment in 1995, was leaked to NYT which published the story in late 2018.
Vanity Fair, which first broke the story reported that a number of people spoke to CBS' lawyers "under the promise of confidentiality" and "assumed what they said to the law firms would be kept confidential." Following the NYT leak, Phillips sued CBS leading to the settlement.
Who is Bobbie Phillips?
An actress and animal advocate, Phillips is best known for her work on 'Baywatch', 'The Watcher', 'Chameleon' and 'Amerian Virgin'. She moved to Hollywood in 1990 and began her career with the show 'The Came From Outer Space'. Alongside acting, she also became a notable swimsuit and fitness model, appearing on the cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine four times. In the 1990s, she became famous for performing her own stunts and martial arts on several films and shows.
Over the years, she has acted in many independent films and on stage, prior to retiring in 2003. In 2000, she married Anthony Filipetto, a hairstylist whom she met on the sets of 'Hustle' in 1999. After quitting showbiz, she moved to Costa Rica where she took up the animal rescue work. She is now extensively involved in rescue work in Canada, Fiji, Australia, Mexico and Sri Lanka.
In 2014, she returned to Hollywood through several independent films like 'Hunter's Moon', 'Renaissance' and 'Gandhi's Murder'.
Assault by Moonves
According to the NYT report, in 1995, Phillips was forced to perform oral sex on Moonves at a meeting. At the time, Moonves was the President of Warner Brothers Television and invited Phillips to talk about her career. 'Be my girlfriend and I’ll put you on any show,” he told her according to the NYT report.
She then told her agent Marv Dauer about the incident, but it did not go public at the time. In 2017, Dauer and Moonves reconnected after the NYT attempted to interview Daur over allegations against Moonves. The duo reportedly attempted to ensure Phillips wouldn't go public, by offering her work. "If Bobbie talks, I’m finished,” Moonves told Daur. It's unclear when Phillips spoke to CBS' lawyers. The NYT reported that Moonves was asked by lawyers directly about Phillips, and the efforts to keep her quiet. Moonves reportedly said that the encounter had been consensual.
The settlement was reportedly in 'the low eight figures' according to Variety, who also reported that 'no formal legal complaint was filed'. Once the NYT article went live, Phillips hired Eric George, a Los Angeles-based lawyer. She was reportedly seeking $15 million for emotional distress and defamation.
Phillps is just one of the 17 women who have accused Moonves of sexual assault. Investigations into the matter are ongoing.