Several weeks after Ronan Farrow’s initial report on decades of alleged sexual abuse committed by Les Moonves, the CBS chairman and CEO, The New Yorker released a follow-up that revealed even more accusers. The latest report detailed an additional six accusations against the man, all occurring between the 1980s and early 2000s. The allegations include forced oral sex, violent outbursts, groping, and repeated sexual advances.
Here are the biggest bombshells from Ronan Farrow’s latest report on the former head of CBS.
He was allegedly physically violent and forced women to perform oral sex on him.
Two women, Jessica Pallingston and Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, told the New Yorker that Moonves physically forced them into performing oral sex on him. Golden-Gottlieb says she was assaulted in 1986, when Moonves drove her to a quiet area under the pretext of going to lunch and “grabbed my head, and he took it all the way down onto his penis, and pushed his penis into my mouth.”
In a later incident, when Golden-Gottlieb tried to reject Moonves’s advances, she alleges that he became physically violent, forcefully pushing her into a wall so hard that she was unable to stand up afterward.
Jessica Pallingston was assigned to be Moonves’s assistant in 1994, and during their first meeting at his room at the Regency Hotel, she says that Moonves began making sexual comments. He offered Pallingston wine, and then kissed her, she claims, before asking her to perform oral sex on him. She also says that he pushed her head onto his penis in a “very violent, very aggressive” way. Pallingston began having a panic attack, and couldn’t stop shaking. She kept working for Moonves, who often “barked” orders at her and was generally very aggressive in his treatment toward her.
Moonves is accused of trying to ruin the careers of women who rejected him.
Pallingston and Golden-Gottlieb are not the only women who say Moonves retaliated against them; other women who were allegedly subjected to unwanted touching by Moonves also faced consequences from rejecting him. Deborah Green, a makeup artist who worked for CBS, says she was never again hired by the print-and-publicity department after she rebuked advances made by Moonves,.
Another woman, Deborah Morris, who worked at Lorimar with Moonves, says that when he made advances toward her and allegedly tried to assault her one night, she fought back, running from his vehicle to get away from him. After that incident, she says she was kept out of meetings, and she said that her career was ruined. “That was pretty much the end of my career,” Morris said. “I wasn’t going to get a reference.”
He allegedly regularly harassed massage therapists.
According to former staff at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C., Moonves allegedly regularly harassed massage therapists throughout the late ’90s and early 2000s. It became such a problem that the rooms director at the hotel threatened to revoke offering their services to Moonves.
Another massage therapist in Los Angeles named Deborah Kitay said that while she worked for Moonves for over a period of two years, he repeatedly propositioned her. “Every time I went in there for about a year and a half to two years, he would ask me to work higher up his leg in a way that was clearly sexual,” she said. Eventually she lied and told him that she was only interested in women, hoping that would stop his advances.
In a statement to the The New Yorker, Moonves acknowledged three of the encounters — he did not specify which — but insisted they were consensual. “In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations,” he said. “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. Anyone who knows me knows that the person described in this article is not me.”
The CBS board of directors told the magazine that it “is committed to a thorough and independent investigation of the allegations, and that investigation is actively underway.” The CBS Corporation said it “takes these allegations very seriously,” and said the board’s investigation is “thorough” and “ongoing.” Meanwhile, Moonves is currently negotiating an exit package; according to reports, he stands to get as much as $100 million.