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CBS Recovers $120 Million From Les Moonves Severance Payment

The decision is made. Les Moonves will not be receiving any severance from CBS after being fired for sexual misconduct in 2018.



Les left CBS in September 2018 as a result of a Ronan Farrow article that detailed two decades of alleged “unwanted kissing and caressing” of women by Moonves at the CBS headquarters. The article was published in the New Yorker.

In an effort to protect his reputation and receive the more than $120 million he was promised, Moonves was also charged with deleting evidence and lying to investigators. In August 2019, an inquiry into the accusations made against Moonves got under way. Moonves insisted adamantly that all sexual relationships were mutually consenting.

When the charges became public, CBS and Moonves started negotiating his separation agreement. Under his contract, Moonves was due to receive $180 million and a production deal upon his departure, but CBS wanted his compensation reduced if the allegations were found to be true.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Images by Alberto E. Rodriguez for Getty

The $120 million severance fund was held in trust as the case was being arbitrated. Now, the funds will be returned to CBS.

From 1995 until 2018, Moonves worked for the network in a variety of capacities. In 2014, he was appointed executive chairman of CBS. The network broadcast the well-known series “King of Queens,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Survivor,” the “CSI” franchise, and the “NCSI” franchise when he served as network president.

The network’s “CSI” franchise had two successful spin-offs by 2003 and would go on to produce many more. In addition, “NCSI,” a well-liked procedural police drama, would produce many spin-offs.

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