Les Moonves Remains At Helm As CBS Investigates Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Chris Goodney  Bloomberg via Getty Images

Chris Goodney Bloomberg via Getty Images

Shares of CBS Corp. are falling on multiple reports that the CBS board is meeting to decide the fate of CEO Les Moonves as the company investigates sexual harassment claims against him.

The New Yorker on Friday published a lengthy account of allegations by six women who said Moonves had sexually harassed them during his decades at the network.

Moonves said in a statement that he has always abided by the principle that "no means no" and he denies ever misusing his position to harm anyone's career.

Les Moonves is facing allegations of sexual assault from several former business associates, including actress Illeana Douglas, writer Janet Jones, producer Christine Peters, screenwriter Dinah Kirgo, and two additional actresses who chose to remain nameless. Board members meet via conference call on Monday.

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The revelations come amid a legal battle for control of the USA television giant - between the Redstone family, which controls CBS, and the board, chaired by Moonves.

The board also postponed the corporation's annual meeting of stockholders, which had been scheduled for August 10. "I stand by that statement today, tomorrow, forever".

Shares of CBS fell 5.1 percent to $51.28 at the close of the New York Stock Exchange, and are down 13 percent this year.

Following the publication of the New Yorker story, some senior female CBS executives have expressed support for Moonves, including Jo Ann Ross, the company's president and chief advertising revenue officer, and Angelica McDaniel, an executive vice president of daytime programming.

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Dinah and her producing partner (and sister) Julie met with Moonves in the early '80s when he was the vice-president of development at Saul Ilson Productions.

The board is split between those loyal to Moonves, who has run the company for more than a decade, and Shari Redstone, whose family owns a controlling stake in CBS. Jones told The New Yorker that as she sat on the couch and began her pitch, Moonves "threw himself" on top of her and then tried to kiss her. You know what? Don't tell me, I like a surprise.

"I don't know what's going to happen, but I do believe in accountability". "Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely", he said.

In a statement issued Friday, the embattled media executive admitted there were times during his long career where he made women feel "uncomfortable". And it may have a wider-reaching effect as CBS faces a potential merger Moonves is fighting tooth and nail.

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