Moonves, CBS End $120M Fight

Former CEO fired over sexual assault allegations had sought severance pay
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2021 5:05 PM CDT
Moonves Gives Up on Severance Pay Fight
FILE - In this July 29, 2013, file photo, Les Moonves arrives at the CBS, CW and Showtime TCA party at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. ViacomCBS said Friday, May 14, 2021 that former CBS CEO Les Moonves will not get his $120 million severance package from his firing in 2018, ending a long-running...   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Les Moonves, the former CBS chief executive who was forced out after being accused of sexual harassment and abuse in a period spanning decades, has dropped his attempt to recover $120 million in severance pay. Moonves filed for arbitration in January 2019 over the money after the CBS board decided that he was fired for cause after violating company policies, CNBC reports, and did not cooperate with the company investigation. The money has been held in trust since and will return to the company, which is now ViacomCBS. The disclosure came in a filing with the federal government. The statement said a contractor, evidently a law firm involved in the investigation, will cover costs of the settlement, per the Hollywood Reporter. Moonves' share will go to charities, the company said.

Moonves, who had a 24-year career at CBS, was accused of sexual misconduct in 2018. The network ordered its own investigation after one was published by the New Yorker. Among the accusations was that he forced women into sex and retaliated against them in the workplace if they refused. In his last two years on the job, Moonves was paid about $69 million, per Deadline. "The disputes between Mr. Moonves and CBS have now been resolved," the company said in its filing. (Read more Les Moonves stories.)

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