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.
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.
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 has declined to give a comment.