Since his resignation as CEO of CBS in 2018, Les Moonves has been keeping a low profile. Moonves left CBS after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him, which he denied. The allegations led to an investigation and ultimately his departure from the company.
Following his exit from CBS, Moonves and his wife, Julie Chen, have largely stayed out of the public eye. However, in 2022, Moonves and CBS reached a $30.5 million settlement with the office of the attorney general of New York, Letitia James, over allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. The settlement was seen as a significant victory for the #MeToo movement and a signal that powerful men in the entertainment industry would be held accountable for their actions.
Despite the settlement, Moonves has not made any public statements about the allegations against him or the settlement. It is unclear what he has been doing since leaving CBS, although some reports suggest that he has been spending time with his family and focusing on his philanthropic work. As of now, it seems that Moonves has largely disappeared from the public eye, leaving many to wonder what he has been up to since his departure from CBS.
Early Life and Education
Les Moonves was born on October 6, 1949, in Brooklyn, New York City. He was raised in Valley Stream, New York, by his parents Josephine (Schleifer) and Herman Moonves. His mother was a registered nurse.
Moonves attended Valley Stream Central High School and later went on to study at Bucknell University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. He also studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City.
After completing his education, Moonves began his career in the entertainment industry. He started as an actor, but later transitioned into television production. He worked for several production companies, including Saul Ilson Productions, 20th Century Fox Television, and Lorimar Television.
During his time at 20th Century Fox Television, Moonves was in charge of first-run syndication and pay/cable programming. He also served as the vice president of movies and mini-series.
Career at CBS
Les Moonves was the chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation from 2003 to 2018. During his tenure, he was responsible for overseeing the company’s many divisions, including CBS Television Network, CBS Television Studios, CBS News, and Showtime Networks.
Under Moonves’ leadership, CBS became the most-watched network in the United States, with hit shows such as “NCIS,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and “Survivor.” He was also instrumental in the creation of CBS All Access, the network’s streaming service, which later became Paramount+.
However, in 2018, Moonves resigned from CBS following allegations of sexual misconduct. An internal investigation found that he had violated company policy and breached his employment contract. Moonves denied the allegations but agreed to donate $20 million to organizations that support the #MeToo movement.
In 2022, Moonves and CBS reached a $30.5 million settlement with the office of the attorney general of New York, Letitia James, over allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. As part of the settlement, Moonves agreed to pay $5 million to various organizations that support workplace equity and diversity.
Despite his departure from CBS, Moonves remains a prominent figure in the media industry. He has since founded Moon Rise Unlimited, a consulting firm that advises media companies on strategy and content development.
Accusations and CBS Exit
Les Moonves was accused of sexual misconduct by several women, which led to his exit from CBS. The accusations date back to the 1980s and came to light in 2017. In September 2018, Julie Chen Moonves, his wife, announced her departure from “The Talk” citing the need to spend more time with her family. She later revealed that she felt “double-crossed” by the network following her husband’s exit.
Moonves was initially suspended from CBS in September 2018 after six women accused him of sexual misconduct. The allegations ranged from unwanted kissing to sexual assault. He resigned from the position of CEO of CBS Corporation on September 9, 2018, following the publication of additional allegations by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker.
In total, more than a dozen women accused Moonves of sexual misconduct. The allegations include claims that he engaged in non-consensual kissing and touching, exposed himself without consent, and retaliated against women who rejected his advances. Moonves denied the allegations, claiming that the relationships he had were consensual.
Following his exit from CBS, Moonves was stripped of his $120 million severance package. The decision was made after an investigation found that he had violated company policy and failed to cooperate with the investigation into the allegations against him.
In summary, Moonves was accused of sexual misconduct by several women, which led to his exit from CBS. His wife, Julie Chen Moonves, also left “The Talk” following the allegations against her husband. Moonves denied the allegations, but after an investigation, he was stripped of his severance package.
Post CBS Activities
Since his departure from CBS in 2018, Les Moonves has been keeping a relatively low profile. However, he has not completely disappeared from the public eye. Here are some of the activities that he has been involved in:
Moon Rise Unlimited
Moonves established Moon Rise Unlimited in West Hollywood, California, after his CBS chapter ended. The exact nature of this enterprise remains shrouded in mystery, but there is speculation that Moonves is gearing up for fresh media projects.
Moonves has been involved in philanthropic activities, including donating $20 million to his alma mater, Bucknell University, to fund a new management school. He has also donated to other causes, such as the Robin Hood Foundation, which fights poverty in New York City.
Moonves has been spending more time with his family since his departure from CBS. He has been spotted attending events with his wife, Julie Chen Moonves, who is a television personality. Chen Moonves has released a new memoir, “But First, God,” which discusses her departure from “The Talk” in 2018 and her relationship with God.
Moonves has been dealing with legal issues related to his departure from CBS. He has denied allegations of sexual misconduct and has been fighting to keep his $120 million severance package. The matter is still ongoing, and it is unclear how it will be resolved.
Overall, Les Moonves has been keeping a relatively low profile since his departure from CBS. He has been involved in philanthropic activities, spending time with his family, and dealing with legal issues. It remains to be seen what his next move will be in the media industry.
Moonves and the #MeToo Movement
Les Moonves, the former CEO of CBS, was one of the most powerful figures in the entertainment industry. However, his career came to an abrupt end in 2018 after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him. Moonves was accused of harassment and intimidation by six women, and dozens more described abuse at his company.
The #MeToo movement, which had gained momentum in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, played a significant role in Moonves’ downfall. The movement had brought attention to the pervasive problem of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, and had emboldened women to speak out about their experiences.
Moonves’ case was seen as a significant moment for the #MeToo movement, as it demonstrated that even powerful men could face consequences for their actions. The fact that Moonves was forced to resign from his position at CBS was seen as a victory for the movement, and a sign that attitudes towards sexual harassment and assault were changing.
However, the case also highlighted the challenges that the #MeToo movement continues to face. Moonves was accused of multiple instances of misconduct that spanned decades, and many of his accusers had been afraid to speak out earlier due to fear of retaliation. The fact that it took so long for Moonves to face consequences for his actions was seen as a failure of the system, and a reminder of the work that still needs to be done to create safe and equitable workplaces for all.
Overall, Moonves’ case was a significant moment for the #MeToo movement, but it also highlighted the ongoing need for change and reform in the entertainment industry and beyond.
Les Moonves has been married to television personality Julie Chen since 2004. The couple has one son together, Charlie, who was born in 2009. Chen and Moonves met when she was working as a news anchor for CBS and he was the president of the network.
In September 2018, Moonves stepped down from his position as the CEO of CBS following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. Chen stood by her husband during this time, but ultimately left her role as a co-host on CBS’s daytime talk show, “The Talk,” in the same month.
Since then, Moonves has largely remained out of the public eye. In December 2018, it was reported that he would not receive his $120 million severance package from CBS following an investigation into his alleged misconduct. Moonves has denied any wrongdoing.
Despite the controversy surrounding his departure from CBS, Moonves has continued to be involved in the entertainment industry. In 2021, it was announced that he had joined the board of directors at the streaming service, iHeartMedia.
Legacy and Impact
Les Moonves’ legacy at CBS is a complicated one, marked by both his successes and his downfall. During his tenure at the network, he oversaw the creation of successful shows such as “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS,” and he was widely regarded as a skilled executive who was able to make CBS a profitable and successful network.
However, Moonves’ legacy has also been tainted by the allegations of sexual misconduct that were made against him. In September 2018, Moonves resigned from his position as CEO of CBS after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment and assault. Moonves denied the allegations, but an investigation by CBS found that he had violated the company’s policies and breached his employment contract.
Moonves’ departure from CBS had a significant impact on the company and the entertainment industry as a whole. In addition to the loss of a powerful executive, CBS also faced a potential legal battle over Moonves’ severance package. Moonves had been seeking a $120 million payout, but CBS decided not to grant him the package after the allegations against him came to light.
The fallout from Moonves’ departure also had an impact on CBS’ relationship with its parent company, Viacom. Moonves had long been opposed to a merger between CBS and Viacom, but his departure opened the door for talks to resume. In December 2019, CBS and Viacom announced that they had agreed to merge, creating a new company called ViacomCBS.
Overall, Moonves’ legacy at CBS is a complicated one, marked by both his successes and his downfall. While he played a significant role in making CBS a successful network, his alleged misconduct and subsequent departure had a significant impact on the company and the entertainment industry as a whole.
Les Moonves was a powerful figure in the media industry, having been the CEO of CBS for over a decade. However, his career came to a sudden and dramatic end in 2018 when he was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. Since then, Moonves has largely stayed out of the public eye.
While it is unclear what Les Moonves has been up to in the years since his departure from CBS, it is likely that he has been keeping a low profile. Given the seriousness of the allegations against him, it is unlikely that he will be able to return to a high-profile position in the media industry anytime soon.
It is worth noting that Moonves has not been completely absent from the news since his departure from CBS. In 2022, he and the network reached a settlement with the New York Attorney General’s office over allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct. The settlement included a $30.5 million payment from Moonves and CBS.
Despite the controversy surrounding his departure from CBS, it is important to remember that Les Moonves was a major figure in the media industry for many years. His legacy includes many successful shows and initiatives, as well as the development of CBS into a major player in the television industry.
Ultimately, the future of Les Moonves remains uncertain. While he may be able to make a comeback in the media industry at some point, it is likely that his reputation will always be tainted by the allegations against him. Only time will tell what the next chapter in his career will hold.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Les Moonves’ current net worth?
As of 2023, Les Moonves’ net worth is estimated to be around $300 million. This figure has decreased significantly since his departure from CBS in 2018, which resulted in the forfeiture of a $120 million severance package.
What is the latest news regarding Les Moonves?
The latest news regarding Les Moonves is that he and CBS have agreed to pay a $30.5 million settlement to the office of the attorney general of New York, Letitia James, over allegations of sexual misconduct. Moonves has denied any wrongdoing.
Has Les Moonves faced any legal consequences for his actions?
Yes, Les Moonves has faced legal consequences for his actions. In addition to the aforementioned settlement, Moonves was also the subject of a 2018 investigation by the law firm Covington & Burling that found evidence of “willful and material misfeasance” and “breaches of fiduciary duty” during his tenure as CEO of CBS.
What impact has Les Moonves had on the entertainment industry?
Les Moonves is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry. During his tenure at CBS, he oversaw the development of hit shows such as “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS,” and helped to usher in a new era of streaming television with the creation of CBS All Access.
Who is Les Moonves’ wife and what is their relationship like?
Les Moonves’ wife is Julie Chen, a television personality and former co-host of “The Talk.” The couple has been married since 2004 and has one child together. Their relationship has been the subject of media scrutiny in the wake of the allegations against Moonves.
How has Les Moonves’ departure from CBS affected the company?
Les Moonves’ departure from CBS had a significant impact on the company. In addition to the loss of a key executive, the scandal surrounding Moonves led to a broader reckoning within the media industry over issues of sexual harassment and abuse. CBS also faced a decline in ratings and revenue following Moonves’ departure.