Six more women accuse CBS CEO Leslie Moonves of sexual misconduct, according to report

Six additional women accused CBS Corp. Chief Executive Les Moonves on the record of sexual harassment or assault, bringing the total number of accusers to 12, and dozens more claim the company tolerated sexual misconduct, The New Yorker reported on Sunday.

The allegations detailed in the article allegedly took place from the 1980s to the early 2000s, according to the magazine, which originally published the allegations of sexual misconduct last month.


The new allegations against Moonves made in The New Yorker include a range of accusations: forced oral sex, forcible touching or kissing, and physical intimidation.

Many of the women told The New Yorker that Moonves retaliated against them if they rejected his advances. Moonves denied all allegations and said they were intended to undermine his career.

“The appalling accusations in this article are untrue,” Moonves told The New Yorker in a statement. “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.”


Moonves did not tell The New Yorker which three relationships he considered consensual.


Another woman also accused Jeff Fager, the executive producer of “60 Minutes,” of sexual misconduct, telling the magazine that he groped her at a work party when she was an intern at CBS in the early 2000s. In a previous New Yorker article from August, six women accused Fager of touching employees inappropriately at company parties in ways that made them feel uncomfortable.

Fager also denied the allegations made against him.

“I have encouraged everyone at 60 Minutes to speak to the lawyers reviewing our culture with the hope that our entire staff would have a voice, and the truth would come out about our workplace,” Fager told The New Yorker. “It was at the center of my talk to the staff when we returned from vacation because I believe that a fair and open investigation will determine 60 Minutes is a good place where talented women and men thrive and produce some of the finest broadcast journalism in America.” He also previously denied that the alleged incidents took place.

NBC News has not independently verified the allegations against Moonves or Fager.


Another woman mentioned in The New Yorker article, veteran television executive Phyllis Golden Gottlieb, told the magazine that she filed a criminal complaint with Los Angeles police last year but that prosecutors declined to press charges because of the statute of limitations.

NBC News previously reported in July that Los Angeles prosecutors had declined to press sex abuse charges against the Moonves because of the statute of limitations after an unidentified woman went to police in December to report three incidents from the 1980s.

“CBS takes these allegations very seriously,” the company said in a statement Sunday. “Our Board of Directors is conducting a thorough investigation of these matters, which is ongoing.”

The latest allegations come as Moonves faces a sexual misconduct investigation by two outside law firms, a court battle rages between CBS and its controlling shareholder, and investors clamor for clarity about who will next lead the company.


CBS’ board of directors is nearing the completion of a settlement with its controlling shareholder, National Amusements, that would end its litigation with the mass media holding company and end its relationship with Moonves, CNBC reported, citing anonymous sources.

Moonves’ negotiated exit would have included about $100 million, but CNBC reported that he may now leave the company without any additional compensation because of the allegations in The New Yorker articles and what has been uncovered by the investigators employed by CBS’s board.

CBS’ chief operating officer, Joe Ianello, is expected to take over for Moonves temporarily, according to CNBC.

TIME’S UP, the organization that formed earlier this year to combat sexual misconduct, called the allegations “bone-chilling” and demanded “nothing less than full transparency of the investigation’s findings, a commitment to real change across all levels of CBS management and no reward for Les Moonves.”


“These allegations speak to a culture of toxic complicity at CBS, where the safety of women was continuously ignored to protect the careers of powerful men and the corporation,” the organization said in a statement. “The CBS Board of Directors has an obligation to move swiftly and decisively to create a safe work environment for all and rid the company of this toxic culture.”



This article originally apeared on NBC