CBS CEO Les Moonves Under Investigation for Sexual Misconduct

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USA broadcasting and media company CBS Corp (CBS.N) said on Friday it was investigating allegations of personal misconduct by its chief executive Leslie Moonves ahead of an upcoming New Yorker article that is expected to detail the claims.

Moonves, a 23-year veteran of CBS, is seen as one of the most successful media executives now working, having taken the network to the top of the ratings chart for many years, often with broad-based comedies and police procedurals.

In the lawsuit, Moonves and CBS said that the merger "is not in the best interests of CBS stockholders". He is widely credited with turning CBS into one of the top-performing USA media companies.

Moonves
Leslie Moonves arriving at the annual Sun Valley media conference on July 11

Members of the CBS board of directors say they will take the allegations seriously, but the magazine story hasn't actually come out yet.

The statement does not name Moonves directly, but it is titled "Statement From CBS Independent Directors Regarding The New Yorker". Moonves and the CBS board have sued Redstone to prevent her from trying to merge the network with Viacom, which she also controls.

"The timing of this report comes in the midst of the Company's very public legal dispute", the statement adds.

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Ronan Farrow-penned expose - which will be published on Friday - will include allegations of unwanted kissing and touching by Moonves. He is now embroiled in a fight with Shari Redstone of Viacom Corp., which is trying to merge with CBS.

At CBS, he has launched popular prime time television shows such as "Everybody Loves Raymond", "Survivor" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation".

Moonves, who joined CBS in 1995, has been married to network presenter Julie Chen since 2004, and was married to Nancy Wiesenfeld from 1978 through 2003.

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"Along with that team, we will continue to focus on creating value for our shareowners", the statement said.

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