Valley Stream native and former CBS chief executive officer Les Moonves — who stepped down from the post in September amid allegations that he had sexually harassed or assaulted multiple women — destroyed evidence and lied to internal investigators at the network, potentially disqualifying him from a $120 million severance package, according to the New York Times.
CBS lawyers had compiled a report, released to The Times, saying that they had enough evidence to deny Moonves the $120 million, which had been negotiated ahead of his exit, and that the team had uncovered evidence that Moonves had “engaged in multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct in and outside of the workplace, both before and after he came to CBS in 1995.”
The report allegedly contains numerous damning details about the 1967 Central High School graduate’s tenure at CBS, such as that he had received oral sex from at least four CBS employees, and that investigators had received “multiple reports” of an employee who had been “on call” to perform oral sex on Moonves at his request.
Moonves’ attorney, Andrew Levander vehemently denied the report’s findings, saying that Moonves had not had any nonconsensual sexual relation and that Moonves had “cooperated extensively and fully with investigators.”
Moonves had skyrocketed to the top of the television industry after taking an executive position at CBS in 1995, and turned the network into a powerhouse with hits like “ER,” “Survivor” and the “Big Bang Theory.”
In 2011, he told the Herald that he had “loved growing up in Valley Stream — I have nothing but fond memories of it. I love the schools there and I love the neighborhoods there. I enjoyed it very much, as did the rest of my family.”
According to the Times, the 59-page report details how Moonves had allegedly misled CBS lawyers in the handling of an accusation by actress Bobbie Phillips that he had forced her to perform oral sex on him during a meeting in 1995.
Moonves reportedly deleted texts between him and Phillips’ manager Marve Dauer, and denied using CBS resources to find work for Dauer’s clients at the manager’s request, which investigators discovered that he had. The violations would be in breach of Moonves’ contract with the company and could be grounds for his termination without severence.
The investigators are scheduled to present the report to CBS’s board this week ahead of the company’s annual meeting The Times reported, and its contents could change in the meantime.
“No findings have been reported to the board,” a spokesman for the investigators told The Times. “The board has reached no conclusions on this matter. The investigators and the board are committed to a thorough and fair process.”