CBS and ex-boss to pay $30 million after sexual abuse case
US television channel CBS, owned by the Paramount group, and its former boss Leslie Moonves will have to pay 30.5 million dollars after an agreement with the New York courts to settle an insider trading case linked to accusations of harassment and sexual assault.
“Under the agreement reached today, CBS is to pay $28 million, of which $22 million will be returned to its shareholders and $6 million” to “strengthen mechanisms for reporting and investigating complaints of harassment and assault sexual,” New York State Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.
The chain’s former CEO, Leslie Moonves, who was ousted in September 2018 after accusations of sexual abuse, must pay him $ 2.5 million to CBS shareholders.
According to the prosecutor, the investigation of his services shows that “CBS and its senior executives were aware of the multiple allegations of sexual assault made against Mr. Moonves and that they intentionally concealed these allegations from regulators, shareholders and to the public for months,” while another senior executive “sold millions of dollars worth of CBS stock in the weeks before the charges were released.”
Leslie Moonves had been accused by a total of twelve women of harassment and sexual assault, in two river articles published in July and September 2018 by the magazine New Yorker.
The prosecutor notably accuses a Los Angeles police captain of having informed a CBS executive in November 2017 that a complaint had just been filed by a victim against Leslie Moonves. The information would then have been shared with other leaders of the chain.
“We are pleased to resolve this matter regarding events of 2018 (…) without any admission of liability or wrongdoing,” Paramount responded in a statement quoted by several US media. According to the group, the case “in no way concerns the current company”.