Les Moonves is stepping down as CEO of CBS.
CBS announced on Sunday that Les Moonves was in the process of resigning as CEO of the company after becoming the latest powerful Hollywood heavyweight to be hit with a sexual abuse scandal.
The scandal began on July 27 when an article was published by Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker, with allegations from six women claiming they were sexually assaulted by the former CEO.
On the day he announced his resignation as CEO, six more women had come forward detailing instances when Moonves allegedly exposed himself to them, forcibly kissed them and forced them to perform oral sex.
The women also claim that their careers were threatened when they refused to comply with his wishes. The allegations of misconduct are said to have taken place in the 1980s through the 2000s.
After announcing his resignation Moonves released the following statement:
“For the past 24 years it has been an incredible privilege to lead CBS’s renaissance and transformation into a leading global media company. The best part of this journey has been working alongside the dedicated and talented people in this company. Together, we built CBS into a destination where the best in the business come to work and succeed.
Untrue allegations from decades ago are now being made against me that are not consistent with who I am. Effective immediately I will no longer be Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CBS.
I am deeply saddened to be leaving the company. I wish nothing but the best for the organization, the newly comprised board of directors and all of its employees.”
It was later uncovered that Moonves is not in fact leaving the company, he is only stepping down as CEO. He will however stay on as an adviser for at least two years.
Moonves’ wife, Julie Chen, host of CBS’s The Talk and Big Brother, has come out with a statement saying she will take a few days off from hosting the talk show in order to spend time with her family. Chen and Moonves share an 8-year-old son together named Charlie.
Some of the alleged victims include writer Ileana Douglas, who claims to be fired for rejecting Moonves’ advances, Janet Jones, another writer, who alleges that Moonves forcibly kissed her during a meeting, retired television executive Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb who claims Moonves forced her to engage in oral sex, threw her against a wall and exposed himself to her. Gottlieb and Moonves worked together in the 1980s.
Although the statute of limitations has run out on the alleged crimes, meaning Moonves cannot be charged for any criminal activity, an investigation is taking place to provide validity to the claims.