Les Moonves’ stunning admission that he "may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances,” is the nail in the coffin for his tenure at CBS, RadarOnline.com exclusively, and now sources reveal he is "done" at the network.
“It’s just a matter of time” until he's officially axed, said the insider. “He apologized, but that meant game over. He thought it would help him, but it didn’t.”
The informant tells Radar CBS is currently negotiating an exit package for the shamed executive, but “He’s putting up a fight and is not going quietly.”
Last week a report by The New Yorker detailed allegations by six women of sexual harassment against the CBS chief over a 20-year period.
Four of the women alleged he “touched or kissed them during business meetings” while two more claim that powerful Moonves “physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers.”
All of the women allege that the 68-year-old, who’s married to The Talk’s Julie Chen, 48, became “cold or hostile” after they rejected his advances while all their careers suffered as a result.
“What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating,” actress and writer Illeana Douglas claimed.
After The New Yorker article went public CBS said in a statement it was “in the process of selecting outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation.”
And now, source told Radar exclusively: “Simultaneously, along with the internal investigation, they are negotiating his exit package."
One member of the CBS board includes Shari Redstone, whose father Sumner Redstone serves as chairman emeritus, and according to a report has a “tense” relationship with Moonves.
Redstone is also the head of CBS parent National Amusements, which wants to re-merge CBS with sister company Viacom, according to reports. But Moonves and others on the board have hesitated making moves for a merger.
Meanwhile, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, who Redstone planned to be Moonves’ second-in-command with the merger, is patiently waiting in the wings to take over the top position.
“Bob Bakish is just sitting back quietly, waiting to take over. Redstone wanted him in line to succeed Moonves anyway.”
In a statement, Moonves said in full: “Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company. 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. This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution.”
According to CBS, there have been no misconduct claims and no settlements against Moonves during his 24 years at the network.
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