New York, July 29 (IANS) Six women, including an actress, an author and two producers, who had professional ties with CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, have said they were sexually abused by him more than two decades ago.
Four of the women said that during meetings, Moonves gave them unwanted kisses and caresses in what appeared to be a regular behaviour pattern, Efe quoted a New Yorker magazine report as saying on Saturday.
Two of the women accusing Moonves, 68, who has been at the CBS helm since 2006, say that — in connection with his alleged abuse — he also intimidated them physically or threatened to destroy their careers when they rejected his advances.
Actress and writer Illeana Douglas said that in 1996 Moonves — at the time the President of CBS Entertainment — asked if she was single in a private business meeting to discuss a script. She said that he grabbed her and kissed her violently, then demanded that she keep quiet about the incident, claiming that thereafter she was fired for no apparent reason.
In a statement, Moonves said: “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.”
On Friday, the CBS board of directors said that it would take “seriously” and investigate any allegations of misconduct against Moonves.