Les Moonves remains the CEO of CBS — for now. The company confirmed to Yahoo Entertainment that no action was taken at Monday’s board meeting, just three days after Moonves was accused of sexual misconduct by six women. CBS Corporation also announced that its board of directors “is in the process of selecting outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation.” While Moonves’s fate apparently is in the hands of a third party, his wife, Julie Chen, is standing by his side.
On Monday, Chen kicked off The Talk, for which she is moderator and a co-host, by addressing the allegations of sexual misconduct against her husband, who is also the chairman of the board and president of CBS, her own network. At the top of the show, Chen, who is also the host of CBS’s Big Brother, looked straight at the camera while she said: “Now some of you may be aware of what’s been going on in my life for the last few days. I issued the one and only statement I’ll ever make on this topic on Twitter, and I will stand by that statement today, tomorrow, forever.”
The statement she referred to was posted on Friday just after Ronan Farrow’s article went up on the New Yorker’s website.
Moonves has been accused of sexual misconduct by six women, including actress Illeana Douglas, who had business dealings with him from the 1980s to the late 2000s. Four of the women described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings, while the others claimed Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers. He has denied the allegations but admitted “there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances.”
Chen met Moonves while he was already president and chief executive officer of CBS Television and she was hosting CBS This Morning and Big Brother. They were married in 2004 — immediately after his divorce was finalized from first wife Nancy Wiesenfeld — and they had their son, Charlie, in 2009.
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