Les Moonves Resigns As CEO Of CBS Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

The head of US media giant CBS, Les Moonves has resigned as chief executive of CBS after fresh allegations of sexual misconduct, a remarkable downfall of one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood.

Mr Moonves resigned on Sunday night after The New Yorker magazine published allegations from six additional women, which include sexual assault. Mr Moonves has denied all the accusations–which include forcing oral sex on two women, pulling his penis out in a 9 a.m. meeting, physically overpowering women, etc, reports jezebel.com.

CBS had been investigating Mr Moonves since allegations appeared in the New Yorker in July and fresh accusations from six more women appeared on Sunday. Both describe claims against the former CEO about incidents that allegedly occurred in the 1980s-2000s.

Because he was not fired, Mr Moonves is, in theory, entitled to a severance package, which was potentially worth more than $200m. However, it was unclear how much he would receive.

In a statement, CBS said $20m would be deducted from any severance owed to Mr Moonves and would be donated “to one or more organisations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace”.

Chief Operating Officer Joseph Ianniello, will become acting chief executive until a permanent successor to Mr Moonves can be found.

According to the July report, four of the six women told Farrow about “forcible touching or kissing during business meetings” and described it as a “practiced routine.” The remaining two women said Moonves “physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers.”

The Financial Times said Mr Moonves was resigning because this would entitle him to a hefty severance package, including stock options.

US media said the resignation package for Mr Moonves could amount to $100m.

However, CBS said he would not receive any severance benefits until the result of an independent investigation into him.

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