Nov 2, 2022 - World

Les Moonves, Paramount reach deal with NY AG in sexual misconduct probe

Leslie Moonves attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 11, 2018, in Idaho. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Paramount Global and former CBS chief Leslie Moonves agreed to make additional payments to settle an investigation by the New York Attorney General's Office over sexual assault allegations.

Driving the news: A report on the investigation released Wednesday revealed that CBS, now under Paramount, and its senior leadership knew about allegations of sexual assault against Moonves and "intentionally concealed" them from regulators, shareholders and the public, per a news release from the AG.

  • The investigation also found that another CBS senior executive, who knew about the allegations, sold millions of dollars of CBS stock in the weeks before the allegations became public, per the Attorney General's office.
  • The investigation also found that a captain at the Los Angeles Police Department informed both CBS and Moonves of a confidential sexual assault complaint made against Moonves, and tried to cover it up.
  • The LAPD told Axios it wasn't commenting on the investigation. But James referred the matter to the California Attorney General's office, according to CNBC.

By the numbers: With the new settlement, CBS will pay $7.25 million and Moonves will pay $2.5 million to CBS shareholders, totaling $9.75 million.

  • That's on top of $14.75 million already being paid out to shareholders as part of a class action.
  • Another $6 million was agreed upon two years ago to fund various HR reforms.

What they're saying: CBS and Moonves "neither admit nor deny" the investigation's findings, but agreed to the settlement "to avoid the time, expense, and distraction of litigation," per the settlement.

  • "We are pleased to have reached an agreement in principle to resolve this matter concerning events from 2018 with the New York attorney general’s office, without any admission of liability or wrongdoing," a Paramount spokesman told Los Angeles Times in a statement.
  • "CBS and Leslie Moonves’ attempts to silence victims, lie to the public, and mislead investors can only be described as reprehensible," Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. "After trying to bury the truth to protect their fortunes, today CBS and Leslie Moonves are paying millions of dollars for their wrongdoing. "

Go deeper: Les Moonves admits to unwanted advances: "I regret them immensely"

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