New misconduct allegations levied against Moonves

Les Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation. (AP)
Updated 05 December 2018
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New misconduct allegations levied against Moonves

NEW YORK: An internal investigation of former CBS chief Les Moonves has turned up more evidence of sexual misconduct as well as lying and destruction of evidence, throwing into jeopardy his $120 million severance package, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
A look at what's known about the scandal so far:
THE LATEST
Lawyers hired by the network allege in a draft report that the TV executive committed "multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct" before and after he came to CBS in 1995, according to the Times. He also deleted numerous text messages and was "evasive and untruthful at times" under questioning, the report says.
Among other things, investigators received reports about a network employee who was "on call" to perform oral sex on Moonves. Investigators also found that he received oral sex from at least four CBS employees "under circumstances that sound transactional and improper to the extent that there was no hint of any relationship, romance, or reciprocity."
The investigators say they interviewed 11 of the 17 women they knew had accused Moonves of misconduct and found their accounts credible.
The 59-page report is to be presented to CBS's board of directors before the company's annual meeting next week, the Times said.
THE REACTION
A lawyer for Moonves, Andrew J. Levander, said in a statement that Moonves said he cooperated "extensively and fully" with investigators.
The former CEO "vehemently denies having any non-consensual sexual relations. He never put or kept someone on the payroll for the purpose of sex," the attorney said.
CBS declined to comment.
THE BACKSTORY
Moonves, largely credited with turning CBS around, was forced out in September, after The New Yorker published allegations from 12 women who said he subjected them to mistreatment that included forced oral sex, groping and retaliation if they resisted.
Moonves denied the accusations, though he said he had consensual relations with some of the women.
Moonves, 69, is one of the most powerful entertainment industry figures to be brought down by the #MeToo movement. Others include Hollywood studio boss Harvey Weinstein, NBC "Today" show host Matt Lauer and PBS talk show host Charlie Rose.
Moonves made his mark at CBS with sitcoms such as "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory," reality TV such as "Survivor" and procedural dramas like "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "NCIS."
THE CONTRACT
Moonves was one of the highest-paid executives in the nation, making a total of nearly $140 million in the two years before he lost his job.
In a move that appalled women's activists and others, CBS said at the time of his departure that it set aside $120 million in severance for him. But the network warned he will lose the money if the board concludes it had cause to terminate him.
In their report, the lawyers say the network has grounds to deny him his severance. They say his pattern of behavior "arguably constitutes willful misfeasance and violation of the company's sexual harassment policy."
THE INVESTIGATORS
The investigation began in August and is being led by two former federal prosecutors now with highly regarded law firms: Nancy Kestenbaum and Mary Jo White, who was also head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In a statement to the Times, the investigators said: "Our work is still in progress and there are bound to be many facts and assessments that evolve and change as the work is completed."


Lost stars and World Cup hot topics on Google in 2018

Updated 12 December 2018
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Lost stars and World Cup hot topics on Google in 2018

  • An annual summary of “top trending searches” released Tuesday by the world’s most popular online search engine was meant to reflect fresh subjects or names in which interest rocketed this year

SAN FRANCISCO: The World Cup topped a list of this year’s hottest Google search topics that turned quickly to lost stars such as Avicii, Mac Miller and Stan Lee.
An annual summary of “top trending searches” released Tuesday by the world’s most popular online search engine was meant to reflect fresh subjects or names in which interest rocketed this year.
The top term for general search as well as in a news category was “World Cup” football.
But, seven of the 10 most keenly pursued new searches for the year globally centered on rising stars or established icons who passed, among them Anthony Bourdain, Stephen Hawking and Kate Spade.
The list of top trending searches globally included US actress Meghan Markle, who married British Prince Harry, and a “Black Panther” film that debuted this year.
The Royal Wedding was ranked the fourth hottest trending topic in news, after the World Cup, Hurricane Florence, and the results of a Mega Millions lottery.
Sizzling general search topics in the United States to a large degree reflected global trends at Google this year, but the Top 10 list here included “election results” from keenly watched midterm elections.