Les Moonves Poised to Step Down as CBS CEO Following Second Wave of Sexual Assault Allegations


Six more women have accused CBS executive Les Moonves of sexual assault, according to a second bombshell report by Ronan Farrow. The accusations come as the CEO is expected to leave the network.

The New Yorker piece, which was first published on Sunday, includes six additional incidents that allegedly took place between the 1980s and 2000s. Among them are accusations made by veteran television executive Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, who worked with Moonves at Lorimar in the late 1980s. She accuses him of physically restraining her, forcing her to perform oral sex on him, exposing himself to her and throwing her up against a wall. Golden-Gottlieb filed a criminal complaint with the Los Angeles Police Department back in 2017; law enforcement sources told Farrow that the claims were credible, and Moonves reportedly informed select members of the CBS board months later.

Another accuser, writer Jessica Pallingston, worked as Moonves’ assistant back in 1994. She alleges that she was coerced into performing oral sex on him on her first day. He went on to become verbally abusive after she rejected subsequent advances.

Moonves has released a statement to The New Yorker, in which he acknowledges three of the encounters. He claims each encounter was consensual, without specifying any names:

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. I can only surmise they are surfacing now for the first time, decades later, as part of a concerted effort by others to destroy my name, my reputation, and my career. Anyone who knows me knows that the person described in this article is not me.

According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, official word on Moonves’ departure is expected to be made by Monday.