Howard Stern is known to go off on tangents at times, and over the years he has had his share of whipping boys, some more deserving than others he admitted in his book Private Parts, but he holds a special contempt for Leslie Moonves, his former boss at CBS. This is far from the first time Stern has been highly critical on Moonves on his show, or even other television and radio shows he has been a guest on. One thing that people always know they will get from Stern is that he will speak his mind, whether it is popular or not. On his August 6 show, he did just that, spending a full 45 minutes railing against Moonves and discussing how his former boss mistreated him.
Stern had conflicts with Moonves almost as soon as he joined CBS according to Variety, which for Stern was somewhat par for the course as he had the same type of issues when he was with NBC. Stern has always challenged authority, and Moonves was not a fan of that which led to some impassioned disagreements. Despite that, Stern was making CBS a lot of money and they were paying him well, so it was almost always a business. That all changed in 2006.
This isn't the first time Stern has made his feelings known about Moonves – in March 2006, he appeared on David Letterman's CBS show Late Night wearing a T-shirt featuring a photo of Moonves and wife Julie Chen that read "I Hate Les Moonves" https://t.co/06v1r8CNUt
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 7, 2018
In 2006, Stern lined up a new job with Sirius Radio, while still employed by CBS, something he never disclosed to Moonves. Furthermore, Stern was promoting his new gig on CBS while they were paying him to do his show. That is where the serious problems with Moonves began, when Moonves hit him a $500 million lawsuit the day after he left according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“How do you defend against a corporation? You know they have endless money to f–k with you with lawyers. I was so panicked because this is scary…. I knew this was just some sort of bad, like, ‘We’re going to f–k with you because you’re leaving us.’ It’s like a stalker who says, ‘You know what? You left me, we broke up, but I’m going to f–k your life up.’ And I didn’t do jack s–t to Les Moonves, except make him money, and I was pissed and upset and scared.”
I find it very odd that Howard Stern is coming out with another book 2 weeks before mine. What does he need to buy another house in Fiji?
— John Melendez (@stutteringjohnm) August 5, 2018
Stern asserted that Moonves was trying to drain him financially. He then talked about how he went to see Moonves after the suit against him was filed, and how he was so upset that he literally cried in front of him. When Moonves wouldn’t budge on his stance that the suit was going forward, Stern said he became enraged saying he was going to “unleash hell on earth on you. We’re going to war, and I’m going to win.”
That case did eventually settle when Sirius agreed to pay CBS $2 million, and Stern was given his master tapes back by CBS. Stern alleged that he had damaging information on Moonves that he was prepared to use if the lawsuit went on, but because he caved, it never had to see the light of day. Stern didn’t disclose what that damaging information might be during his rant, but many are wondering if perhaps it has anything to do with the current sexual assault allegations Moonves is facing or just a move to get press ahead of his upcoming book release.