MEDIA
11/28/2018 11:59 pm ET

Les Moonves Attempted To Keep An Assault Accuser Quiet, NYT Reveals

The former CBS chairman reportedly had offered to get work for actress Bobbie Phillips to prevent her from coming forward with her sexual assault accusation.

The New York Times released a report Wednesday that threatens to topple disgraced TV executive Les Moonves’ chances at a $120 million exit package from CBS.

Moonves left CBS in September after a New Yorker investigation revealed numerous sexual misconduct allegations had been made against the executive by multiple women.

The Times investigation published Wednesday focuses on Moonves’ alleged attempts to silence one of his accusers, former actress Bobbie Phillips, by offering her work.

Phillips claims that Moonves exposed his penis to her and forced her into oral sex during a professional meeting in 1995, when he was the president of Warner Bros. Television.

Three reporters for the Times reviewed hundreds of text messages exchanged between Moonves and Hollywood talent manager Marv Dauer, who represents Phillips. 

“If Bobbie talks, I’m done,” Moonves reportedly told Dauer in a text message.

According to the Times, Moonves asked Dauer to help him prevent Phillips from speaking out about the alleged assault. In exchange, Moonves would help get work for Dauer’s clients, including Phillips. 

Moonves told the paper in a statement that he “strongly” believed his encounter with Phillips was consensual.

Moonves was forced out of CBS in September after The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow published damning articles accusing the executive of heinous sexual misconduct against 12 women, including instances of forced oral sex and unwanted groping.

CBS has hired law firms to investigate the allegations and whether they provided grounds for his dismissal from the company. If not, Moonves will receive $120 million as part of his exit package.

However, according to the Times, CBS’ lawyers recently discovered that Moonves deleted his text message correspondence with Dauer, which violates his contractual duty with the company to cooperate in an investigation.

Moonves and CBS said they would donate $20 million to the Me Too movement, which works toward advancing women’s equality in the workplace and raising awareness against sexual misconduct, the company said in September.

The money would be deducted from any severance benefits owed to Moonves following CBS’ investigation.

CONVERSATIONS