Les Moonves and Paramount to Pay .75 Million in State Case Tied to Sexual Misconduct

Paramount, the father or mother firm of CBS, and the community’s former chief govt Leslie Moonves agreed to pay $9.75 million after a state investigation discovered that the community and its senior management had hid accusations of sexual misconduct in opposition to Mr. Moonves and, within the case of 1 govt, engaged in insider buying and selling associated to the allegations.

Paramount said it might pay $7.25 million right into a settlement fund as a part of the deal. Mr. Moonves pays $2.5 million. Individually, Paramount has agreed to pay $14.75 million to settle a shareholder lawsuit associated to the claims.

Paramount confirmed in a press release that it had reached a decision with the New York lawyer common’s workplace with out admitting wrongdoing or legal responsibility.

“The matter concerned alleged misconduct by CBS’s former C.E.O., who was terminated for trigger in 2018, and doesn’t relate in any technique to the present firm,” the assertion learn.

Mr. Moonves stepped down from CBS in September 2018 after quite a few ladies accused him of sexual misconduct in one of many highest-profile instances of the #MeToo motion. He has denied allegations of wrongdoing. A lawyer for Mr. Moonves didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The New York lawyer common’s workplace said in a news release that its investigation had discovered that the corporate’s management knew concerning the allegations in opposition to Mr. Moonves and hid them for months earlier than they grew to become public.

“As a publicly traded firm, CBS failed its most elementary obligation to be sincere and clear with the general public and buyers,” Legal professional Normal Letitia James stated in a press release.

The lawyer common’s investigation discovered {that a} captain within the Los Angeles Police Division knowledgeable a CBS worker in November 2017 that the division had obtained a sexual assault criticism in opposition to Mr. Moonves. The captain labored with CBS for months as the corporate tried to maintain the criticism from being reported by the information media, the New York lawyer common’s workplace stated.

In a single textual content message included within the lawyer common’s report, the unidentified police captain informed a CBS worker and Mr. Moonves’s private lawyer that they might be the “first and solely level of contact” relating to the investigation. The message additionally stated an investigating officer would “admonish” an accuser to not communicate with reporters.

In a press release, the Los Angeles Police Division stated it had just lately discovered of the captain’s actions from the New York lawyer common, including that it had begun its personal investigation into the retired officer’s conduct.

“What’s most appalling is the alleged breach of belief of a sufferer of sexual assault, who’s among the many most susceptible, by a member of the L.A.P.D.,” the division’s chief, Michel Moore, stated in a press release. “This erodes the general public belief and isn’t reflective of our values as a company.”

In June 2018, CBS licensed Gil Schwartz, then CBS’s chief communications officer, to promote thousands and thousands of {dollars}’ price of the corporate’s inventory, in accordance with the lawyer common’s investigation. Ms. James stated the motion constituted insider buying and selling as a result of Mr. Schwartz had identified concerning the accusations in opposition to Mr. Moonves, which might doubtlessly sink the corporate’s inventory value. Mr. Schwartz died in 2020.

Mr. Moonves’s departure marked a shocking reversal for an govt who was credited with turning CBS into tv’s most-watched community. However he had been beneath intense stress since July 2018, when The New Yorker revealed an article by the investigative journalist Ronan Farrow wherein six ladies accused Mr. Moonves of sexual harassment. The journal quickly revealed one other article by Mr. Farrow wherein six extra ladies detailed claims against Mr. Moonves.

In December 2018, the corporate formally stated Mr. Moonves was fired, citing “willful and materials misfeasance, violation of firm insurance policies and breach of his employment contract.”

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