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Les Moonves Expected To Leave CBS As More Allegations Surface

CBS reaches deal with CEO Leslie Moonves amid new sexual harassment claims

Julie Chen announced Monday she's taking some time off from CBS's "The Talk", a day after her husband Les Moonves resigned as chairman of the network amid a fresh wave of sexual misconduct allegations.

The terms of Moonves's exit were unclear, though it was reported that his severance will be withheld pending the results of an independent investigation.

Earlier today, The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow reported the stories of six additional women who say "Moonves forced them to perform oral sex on him, that he exposed himself to them without their consent, and that he used physical violence and intimidation against them".

Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, who was a Moonves colleague at Lorimar-Telepictures studio in the 1980s, describes an incident in 1986 in which she says Moonves forced her to perform oral sex.

Moonves noted he led CBS's transformation from struggling broadcast network to global media company, while acknowledging contributions of the company's staff.

Chief Operating Officer Joe Ianniello will take over as interim CEO as the board searches for a replacement of Moonves. And NAI said it has no plans to propose a merger of CBS and Viacom and that it won't propose such a deal for at least two years.

Co-host Sheryl Underwood, fighting back tears, said that she saw Moonves' exit as a blessing in disguise as it allowed the truth to emerge.

CBS will pay ousted chief Les Moonves $120 million if its ongoing investigation fails to find any evidence of sexual misconduct. She's been a friend, she's someone who I admire and respect greatly.

CBS's board has been in talks with Moonves to negotiate his exit, a source familiar with the matter previously told Reuters.

"In the event" the CBS board "determines that the company is entitled to terminate Mr. Moonves's employment for cause" - meaning that he's fired due to credible harassment claims - the $120 million will return to the company's coffers, according to the filing.

Moonves has responded to the doctor's allegations, telling Vanity Fair through a representative, "The appalling allegations about my conduct toward a female physician some 20 years ago are untrue". The initial article detailed allegations from six women of Moonves harassing them and using his position of authority to intimidate them, and sometimes, ruin their careers.

Five current independent directors and one National Amusement-affiliated director have stepped down from the board of directors and 6 new directors have been elected, the company said.

Moonves' future at CBS came into question in July, when Farrow published an exposé in the New Yorker detailing allegations from six women. "He has gotten away with it for decades", the writer Janet Jones, who alleges that she had to shove Moonves off her after he forcibly kissed her at a work meeting, told me.

Through Sunday evening's settlement, all of those suits will be dismissed and CBS will return to some sense of normal corporate order.

He continued: "In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations. I can only surmise they are surfacing now for the first time, decades later, as part of a concerted effort by others to destroy my name, my reputation, and my career", he said.

"The tech companies are replacing these legacy media companies", he said. "It's very embarrassing and upsetting to have to talk about [Julie's] husband, but... we feel it's right", said Osbourne, who noted that she herself only knew the TV titan "in a superficial way".

CBS, as you sit in a room debating next steps to rectify the damage done, remember that the world is watching.