CBS President Les Moonves was already under fire for his sexual misconduct, and now six more complaints have been levied against the longtime head of the network. Fox News reports that six new accusers have come forward with details about unwanted sexual encounters they had with Moonves.
Ronan Farrow wrote about the accusations for New Yorker, and he is, in fact, the journalist who first broke the story. The accusers levied claims of misconduct that include exposing himself to unwilling women, forcibly kissing unwilling participants, forcing oral sex, and retaliating by damaging their careers if they refused his advances or rebuffed the alleged assaults. Moonves made a statement about the allegations at the time.
“The appalling accusations in this article are untrue. What is true is that I had consensual relations with three of the women some 25 years ago before I came to CBS. And I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women,” Moonves said.
“In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations. I can only surmise they are surfacing now for the first time, decades later, as part of a concerted effort by others to destroy my name, my reputation, and my career. Anyone who knows me knows that the person described in this article is not me.”
Regardless of his staunch denial, more women are going on the record with their accusations. Accusers Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, Jessica Pallingston, Deborah Green, Deborah Morris, Linda Silverthorn, and Deborah Kitay have all come forward with detailed stories of how they were allegedly sexually assaulted by Moonves.
Golden-Gottlieb says that she worked with Moonves at Lorimar Pictures in the 1980s. One day in 1986, she claims, Moonves invited her to lunch. Lunch turned into something quite different when Moonves allegedly pulled over the car and tried to force her to perform oral sex on him. She did not report the incident for fear of losing her job, but she says two years later, she entered his office and he left, then returned aroused and without pants.
At that point, Golden-Gottlieb says she ran away – and then retaliation began. She says Moonves began berating her at work, even physically throwing her into a wall at one point.
Pallington says a meeting with Moonves about career advice ended when he said he could help her career in exchange for sexual favors. Confused, she initially acquiesced but had a panic attack when he tried to have intercourse with her. It was her first day as his assistant.
Moonves is reportedly stepping down as head of CBS.