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Les Moonves won’t receive a penny of his $120 million CBS severance after board digs into sexual misconduct allegations


Les Moonves is walking away from CBS without the $120 million he'd hoped for

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

CBS has denied former CEO Les Moonves $120 million in severance pay after investigating multiple allegations of sexual misconduct laid against him.

What are the details?

On Tuesday, The Associated Press reported that Moonves will not receive a penny of an estimated $120 million severance package.

The news comes on the heels of the network's board of directors' five-month investigation into Moonves, whose findings determined that Moonves violated company policy and was not cooperative with the investigation into sexual misconduct allegations made against him.

A spokesperson for Moonves said that the board of directors' investigative findings "are without merit." The spokesperson did not say whether Moonves would challenge the decision to strip him of his severance.

An attorney for Moonves said that his client "vehemently denies any non-consensual sexual relations and cooperated extensively and fully with investigators."

"Consistent with the pattern of leaks that have permeated this 'process,' the press was informed of these baseless conclusions before Mr. Moonves, further damaging his name, reputation, career and legacy," Moonves' attorney added.

In a statement, CBS said that when Moonves first left the company, it had set aside his severance for him in the event that the investigation into the allegations did not render substantial findings against him.

"We have determined that there are grounds to terminate for cause, including his willful and material misfeasance, violation of company policies and breach of his employment contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the company's investigation," a CBS spokesperson said.

Moonves was removed from the company in September after several former female co-workers and colleagues came forward with allegations of groping, forced sex acts, professional retaliation for resisting, and more.

Fatima Goss Graves, who is co-founder of the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, told the AP that this is a teachable moment.

"This is an important reminder that harassment happens everywhere, and that in this moment, even someone who has been perceived as untouchable will be held accountable," she said. "I hope other corporations are learning that lesson."

CBS declined to comment on the decision beyond its initial statement, according to the AP.

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