Network Ten-owned CBS has launched an investigation following sexual misconduct allegations levelled at the broadcaster’s CEO Les Moonves.
The American broadcaster bought Network Ten last year with Moonves stating at the time CBS would “ensure Ten’s business will grow long-term, while also benefiting the Australian media sector as a whole”
CBS announced it would begin an investigation following the publication of a story from the New Yorker which exposed the allegations.
The article, Ronan Farrow – the same journalist who exposed Harvey Weinstein – claimed Moonves had forcibly touched and kissed women during business meetings between the 1980s–2000s.
In the piece, Farrow described Moonves as “one of the most powerful media executives in America”.
Farrow 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 practised routine.
“Two told me that Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers.”
The piece also added the women accusing Moonves had “a lot of fear of retaliation” and they told “very serious stories of sexual misconduct about Moonves”.
Meanwhile, CBS said the claims “violate the company’s clear policies”.
As a result of the claims, CBS Corporation’s stock fell six per cent, the worst loss in a single day in seven years.
Acknowledging the claims, Moonves admitted, “Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely.”