Les Moonves, head of CBS, resigns in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations

Les Moonves - On Sunday, six more women accused of him of varying sexual assaults, which is what seems to have triggered the immediate resignation.


                            Les Moonves, head of CBS, resigns in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations

Les Moonves, the head of media giant CBS, has resigned with immediate effect after he was accused of sexual misconduct. The network has been investigating the accusations against Moonves after the allegations appeared in July in the New Yorker. On Sunday, six more women accused of him of similar charges, which is what seems to have triggered the immediate resignation. 

On Sunday, it was reported that the CBS' board of directors were trying to reach a settlement that would terminate longtime CEO Moonves's ties with the company before the beginning of trading on Monday morning. Current COO of CBS Joe Ianniello is expected to take over as the president and the acting CEO temporarily. 

CBS said in a statement $20m would be paid immediately in support of the #MeToo movement and that the amount would be deducted from any severance benefits – which is reported to be in tune of $100 million - that may have been due to Moonves.  

Despite agreeing to resign, Moonves has vehemently denied all allegations, and has called them “appalling.” A statement he issued on Sunday read, "Untrue allegations from decades ago are now being made against me that are not consistent with who I am." 

Leslie Moonves has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Leslie Moonves has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

The new New Yorker piece was also authored by Ronan Farrow, who had won a Pulitzer Prize for detailing Sexual assault accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. 

In it, six women – which includes TV executive Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb and writer Jessica Pallingston - have accused Moonves of sexually assaulting them between the 1980s and 2010. 

Moonves has been accused of forcing these women to perform oral sex on him, exposing himself without their consent and ruining their careers when they rejected his advances.  

In response to these he said, "The appalling accusations in this article are untrue. What is true is that I had consensual relations with three of the women some 25 years ago before I came to CBS. And I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women. In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations."