Longtime CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves resigned Sunday, September 9, 2018, after new sexual abuse allegations by seven women were published. Two independent law firms are investigating the claims but the public may never know what CBS is able to discover about his behavior because the company agreed to keep the probe confidential. It’s a notion that CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King finds disturbing.
“In our own house, we must have transparency,” King said on the broadcast Tuesday morning.
“I am so sorry, again, that it hits so close to home for us. I’m sick and sick of the story and sickened by everything that we keep hearing. But the part you mentioned about transparency is very disturbing to me because I would think, how can we have this investigation and not know how it comes out? Les Moonves has been on the record, he says, listen, he didn’t do these things, it was consensual, that he hasn’t hurt anybody’s career. I would think it would be in his best interest for us to hear what the report finds out. On the other hand, you have women who are coming forward, very credibly, talking about something that’s so painful and so humiliating. It’s been my experience that women don’t come out and speak this way for no reason. They just don’t. They just don’t do it. And so I don’t know how we move forward if we don’t – we at CBS – don’t have full transparency about what we find.”
Moonves could collect a $120 million severance payment if the independent investigation finds CBS had no grounds to remove him. For now, he will remain an unpaid adviser to CBS, with a company-provided office in New York or Los Angeles along with home security services.