Les Moonves Forfeits His $120 Million Golden Parachute
Moonves was fired due to sexual misconduct charges.
Disgraced entertainment mogul Les Moonves has given up on his pursuit of $120 million in severance he claimed was owed to him by CBS. Moonves was forced to step down as the head of CBS in 2018 after a number of sexual misconduct allegations were made against them. He later sued his former employer for the money he said that he was owed, but now Moonves has reportedly abandoned his law suit.
“The disputes between Mr. Moonves and CBS have now been resolved, and on May 14, 2021, the parties dismissed the arbitration proceeding. The assets of the grantor trust will revert to the Company in their entirety,” ViacomCBS said in a company filing released Friday. Apparently the money was held in trust until now, pending the outcome of the legal proceedings. CBS has said that now the assets of the grantor trust will revert to the Company in their entirety.
Moonves was fired by CBS on September 9, 2018, after multiple allegations were made against him for sexual misconduct. Six new allegations had come out just before he was finally forced to leave the company. He had worked for the company for 24 years. December 17 of that year the CBS board released a statement that said Moonves had breached his employment contract and would not receive a severance package valued at $120 million following the completion of a months-long investigation.
The CBS statement said, “We have determined that there are grounds to terminate for cause, including his willful and material misfeasance, violation of Company policies and breach of his employment contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the Company’s investigation.” But Les Moonves has always denied the charges and sued to get his money.
The Moonves story was first broken by Ronan Farrow in a report for The New Yorker magazine. Ronan wrote, “Six women who had professional dealings with him told me that, between the nineteen-eighties and the late aughts, Moonves sexually harassed them. Four described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings, in what they said appeared to be a practiced routine. Two told me that Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers. All said that he became cold or hostile after they rejected his advances, and that they believed their careers suffered as a result.”
Moonves has never been criminally charged over any of the allegations. His only punishment was his public disgrace and now hos forfeiture of the $120 million.
Moonves and ViacomCBS release a joint statement saying, “Leslie Moonves, CBS and a contractor to CBS have resolved their disputes. The cost of the settlement will be borne by the contractor. Mr. Moonves has decided to contribute the entire settlement amount to various charities. There will be no further comment regarding this settlement by Mr. Moonves or CBS.”