CBS CEO Leslie Moonves is one of the most powerful men in the entertainment industry and he has now been accused of unwanted kissing as well as unwanted sexual advances. Moonves and CBS have admitted to some of the kissing allegations, but have denied any of the sexual misconduct over the last 30 years. CBS has embraced the #MeToo movement over the last year and has been dedicated to learning more about sexual harassment in the workplace. The network, as well as Moonves, have been very vocal about the great lengths that they have gone to work with the #MeToo movement.
Ronan Farrow interviewed 6 women over the course of eight months about CBS CEO Leslie Moonves and the sexual misconduct claims that go as far back as 1985. Actress/writer Illeana Douglas (Good Fellas) was one of the women to go on record against Moonves, claiming that the CEO forcibly kissed her and then pinned her on a couch, trying to initiate sexual intercourse in the 1990s. Douglas says that the encounter has stayed with her ever since. She had this to say.
"In a millisecond, he's got one arm over me, pinning me, violently kissing me... What it feels like to have someone hold you down -- you can't breathe, you can't move. The physicality of it was horrendous... It was physically scary. It was so invasive... it has stayed with me the rest of my life, that terror."
After Illeana Douglas' encounter with Leslie Moonves, he became sour on their working relationship and had her fired from CBS. When she went on to sue, the network offered her a mini-series. CBS and Moonves admit to the kissing parts of the story, but they strongly deny the forced sexual act that Douglas details in the article. Moonves also said in a statement that he never tried to "hinder" anyone's career. The statement reads.
"I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected -- and abided by the principle -- that no means no, and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone's career."
In addition to Illeana Douglas, actress Janet Jones shared a similar story that took place in 1985. Jones was pinned on the couch as well, but left before anything else could happen. Producer Christine Peters was an industry veteran when she first met Leslie Moonves and during a pitch meeting, she alleges that the CEO put his hand up her skirt. Like Douglas, she says she never worked for CBS again after that encounter. Other stories about Moonves contain unwanted advances over the phone and in person by the remaining women, who never got a chance to work with CBS again after turning Moonves down.
Since the report about Leslie Moonves went public, his wife Julie Chen, has defended her husband and so has Sharon Osbourne. Corey Feldman weighed in on the situation and says that he had a show, Dweebs, in the mid-90s that was unexpectedly canceled by Moonves after 10 episodes. With all of the women coming forward and Moonves admitting to some of the activity, it's a wonder why anyone is still defending him. However, their careers could be on the line as seen with the previous stories. You can read more about the sexual misconduct allegations against CBS' Leslie Moonves over at The New Yorker.