Les Moonves: CBS promises investigation into forthcoming sexual misconduct allegations

Les Moonves: CBS promises investigation into forthcoming sexual misconduct allegations

CBS chief Les Moonves has been accused of sexual misconduct by six women - including actress Illeana Douglas - in a bombshell new report that claims the toxic culture is widespread through the network.

CBS is investigating claims that CEO LES MOONVES participated in "unwanted kissing and touching" while at the company, starting over 20 years ago and continuing to the recent past.

Even before the story was published, CBS' board of directors issued a statement acknowledging the allegations and announcing plans to mount an investigation.

The CBS board's statement noted the timing of the New Yorker article and said that the company's managers continued to have the board's support. Rumor has it that the allegations are merely a part of a conspiracy to take him down during the court proceedings. The statement added: "We will continue to focus on creating value for our shareowners".

Not surprisingly, in a move watched very closely by industry insiders, CBS stock has tumbled in the last couple hours since the first whispers about the forthcoming piece hit the public eye.

If Moonves is removed as a result of the investigation, the chances of a Redstone-directed merger of CBS and Viacom would dramatically increase, analysts said. Moonves also oversees Showtime and a film division, among other assets.

Moonves has been with the company since 1995. Redstone has been hoping to merge Viacom and CBS, which would likely push Moonves out of his role and make way for Redstone to take over.

FBN's Neil Cavuto on the sexual misconduct allegations against CBS CEO Leslie Moonves.

The New Yorker story is written by the magazine's Ronan Farrow. The entertainment news site reports the article will publish later Friday.

"I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances", said Moonves, who was married to Nancy Wiesenfeld from 1978 through 2003 and then Wednesday network presenter Julie Chen in 2004.

CBS spokesman Dana McClintock didn't immediately respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment. He went on to launch CBS All Access, home to Star Trek Discovery and The Good Fight.

CBS resisted a deal, and later took Shari Redstone to court to dilute her controlling stake in the company.

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