CBS says independent members of its board of directors are investigating personal misconduct claims after the New Yorker reported that six women who had professional dealings with the CEO of CBS, Les Moonves, say he sexually harassed them between the 1980s and late 2000s.
The media company says it takes all allegations of personal misconduct seriously. It says the independent directors are “investigating claims that violate the company’s clear policies in that regard.”
CBS did not name Moonves but said it issued the statement Friday before the New Yorker article was published.
Shares in CBS tumbled when the reports of the misconduct allegations began to circulate around noon Friday, as investors worried that Moonves might be forced to step down. They closed down six per cent, the company’s worst one-day loss in more than six years.
Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely.– Les Moonves, CEO of CBS
The article says that four of the women described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings. It says two women said that Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers.
The article is written by Ronan Farrow, who wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning story for the same magazine uncovering many of the allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein
Moonves acknowledges to the New Yorker that were times decades ago when he may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. But he says, “Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely.”