TV personality Julie Chen addressed the sexual misconduct allegations against her husband, CBSchairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, on The Talk Monday.
“Some of you may be aware of what’s been going on in my life for the past few days,” Chen said while opening the show. “I issued the one and only statement I will ever make on this topic on Twitter. I will stand by that statement today, tomorrow, forever.”
“I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the late ‘90s, and I have been married to him for almost 14 years. Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader,” she posted on Twitter Friday. “He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband.”
Six women accused Moonves of misconduct in a report by Ronan Farrow in The New YorkerFriday. (Side note: He was one of the first reporters to break the landmark story on Harvey Weinstein last year, and won a Pulitzer for the effort).
Among the accusers: actress Illeana Douglas, writer Janet Jones, producer Christine Peters. They all claim that they lost out on work after rejecting his advances.
BOARD LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION
On Monday, the CBS board of directors moved to keep Moonves in place for the time being; it also announced plans to launch a probe into the allegations against him.
A statement from CBS on the meeting said the board was “in the process of selecting outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation. No other action was taken on this matter at today’s board meeting.”
The board considered several topics during the three-hour meeting, but Moonves’ status was not voted on, sources tell Variety.
MEREDITH VIEIRA BREAKS SILENCE
Meredith Vieira has also spoken out on the allegations. Following a TCA panel for her new PBSshow The Great American Read, the former 60 Minutes host said that while she never worked with Moonves directly, she tends to believe women in cases like this.
“People know my story from CBS. I think there was sexism for sure. I never was harassed per se, but I think it was difficult at the time on that show to navigate your way as a woman, but I’ve ever experienced harassment as a woman anywhere that I’ve been. Maybe they’re scared of me.”
Regarding disgraced Today Show anchor Matt Lauer’s potential return to TV, she said: “I think it would probably be very difficult for him. Time tends to heal situations, and people evolve and they change and I don’t want to be an unforgiving person by any means, but I think that would be a tough road for sure.”
- Chen and Moonves met when he was president and chief officer of CBS Television and Chen hosted CBS This Morning and Big Brother. They married in 2004, when she was 34 and he was 55.
- Moonves released a statement to The New Yorker Friday. “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,” he said. “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.”
- CBS also issued a statement Friday: “CBS is very mindful of all workplace issues and takes each report of misconduct very seriously. We do not believe, however, that the picture of our Company created in The New Yorker represents a larger organization that does its best to treat its tens of thousands of employees with dignity and respect. We are seeing vigorous discourse in our country about equality, inclusion and safety in the workplace, and CBS is committed to being part of the solution to those important issues.”
- CBS stock fell 5% Monday.
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