CBS boss Moonves quits as more women make explicit sex misconduct claims

CBS reaches deal with CEO Leslie Moonves amid new sexual harassment claims

USA television giant CBS announced Sunday the immediate departure of CEO Leslie Moonves, one of the biggest scalps in the #MeToo era, following a slew of escalating sexual misconduct allegations.

Only one thing is definite: Moonves and CBS will contribute $20 million "to one or more organizations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace".

Six additional women have come forward to accuse Moonves of harassment or assault, with the claims stretching back decades, the New Yorker reported on Sunday.

CBS announced that chief operating officer Joseph Ianniello will be president and acting CEO, overseeing all operations of the company, while the board searches for a permanent successor.

The developments came after The New Yorker published a report Sunday that detailed six more claims of sexual misconduct against Moonves.

Moonves, in a statement included in the report, acknowledged three encounters before his tenure at CBS, but said they were consensual and added: "The appalling accusations in this article are untrue".

That statement could be a signal to possible suitors that CBS is in play. "I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women", wrote Moonves, who went on to characterize accusations of any misconduct as "part of a concerted effort by others to destroy my name".

The New Yorker on Sunday reported the women's accusations, which include Moonves forcing them to perform oral sex and retaliating when advances were turned away.

Leslie Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation, attends a panel discussion at the 18th annual Milken Institute Global Conference on April 29, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. But the scrutiny of Moonves and his actions has cast a cloud across the company.

Law enforcement told the New Yorker that Golden-Gottlieb's allegations appeared credible.

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The L.A. Times said CBS' board will wait until the conclusion of an investigation into allegations of misconduct.

In reaction to early reports that Moonves was negotiating an exit package that could be worth north of $100 million, several accusers expressed outrage that the longtime mogul could be so enriched from the scandals. She claims that Moonves forced her to perform oral sex and greeted her in his office during a meeting without trousers and with an erection.

Media say the deal on Mr Moonves' resignation could come as early as Monday, although CBS has not commented directly.

Six more women have made bone-chilling allegations of abuse, harassment and retaliation against Les Moonves. The new allegations have made it untenable for Moonves to continue in his post, though it remains unclear whether he will be fired or allowed to resign.

In addition, NAI, which in the past has pressed for a merger of CBS and Viacom, said it would not do so "for at least two years".

She said she decided it was best to repeat what she said on air after Rose was forced out last November.

Five current independent directors and one National Amusements-affiliated director have stepped down from the board of directors and six new directors have been elected, the company said.

Separately, CBS and its controlling shareholder National Amusements Inc (NAI) will also end litigation for control of the company.

"I really felt like this was one of the most sexist places I've ever worked", Sarah Johansen, who previously worked as an intern at CBS for Fager, told Farrow.

He said Sunday's shakeup "marks a major transition for all of us as Leslie Moonves departs from CBS".

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