New misconduct allegations levied against Moonves

Les Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation. (AP)
Updated 05 December 2018

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."


TWITTER POLL: Readers split over effect of coronavirus pandemic on spending 

Updated 09 July 2020

TWITTER POLL: Readers split over effect of coronavirus pandemic on spending 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home and lockdown restrictions have left many to be confined at home with little to spend on. 
But in an Arab News Twitter poll that asked whether people have managed to save, the answers were divided. 
Out of 609 votes, only 34 percent said their savings have increased since the start of the pandemic, while 22.5 percent said they were still spending. 
However, 33.5 percent said they couldn’t afford to save as many lost their jobs due to business closure. 


According to a UN Economic Commission for Western Asia report, the coronavirus pandemic threatens to wipe out more than 1.7 million jobs across the Arab world this year.
Arab nations’ gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to shrink by at least $42 billion in 2020, hit by plunging oil prices and virus-linked shutdowns, the report said.
“More than 1.7 million jobs could be lost in 2020, with the unemployment rate increasing by 1.2 percentage points,” it claimed.

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