On Sunday night, three hours after The New Yorker published a report detailing allegations of sexual misonduct by Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS, the company announced he was leaving his position immediately. But, as The Huffington Post has discovered, the media giant is actually having trouble disentangling itself from Moonves.
The former CEO’s position at CBS became shaky last July when The New Yorker made public the first set of allegations from six women of harassment and intimidation, along with many more accusations of lesser abuse. After that exposé, Moonves was said to be in negotiation with CBS for a severance agreement, reportedly in the ballpark of $100 million.
Now that severance payment has been put in a trust fund, whose fate depends upon an investigation into the abuse allegations. In an email to CBS employees, interim CEO Joseph Ianniello didn’t discuss the reasons for Moonves’ departure. Instead, Ianniello implicitly praised Moonves saying that he left the company in a “strong” position.
“It’s not as if CBS has completely washed its hands of Moonves,” The Huffington Post notes. “In a public filing on Monday, the company said Moonves would stay on for one year to ‘perform transition advisory services.’ Under the agreement, he also gets office services and security support from CBS for two years. These deals could be terminated early, depending on the results of the company’s internal investigation.”
The New Yorker article that triggered Moonves’ departure notes that, “Six additional women are now accusing Moonves of sexual harassment or assault in incidents that took place between the nineteen-eighties and the early two-thousands. They include claims that Moonves forced them to perform oral sex on him, that he exposed himself to them without their consent, and that he used physical violence and intimidation against them. A number of the women also said that Moonves retaliated after they rebuffed him, damaging their careers.”