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CBS ‘Seeks to’ Keep Les Moonves Investigation Results Confidential

Former CEO’s severance could hinge on result of independent investigation

CBS plans to keep the findings of the investigation into the alleged misconduct of former CEO Les Moonves under lock and key.

The revelation was buried in the company’s Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the filing, CBS said it will “seek to preserve the confidentiality of all written and oral reports by the investigators in the internal investigation and all information and findings developed by the investigators or included in such written or oral reports in relation to [Les Moonves] and not to make public such Investigator Information to the maximum extent possible consistent with fiduciary duties of directors and all applicable laws.”

What’s more, the company said that in the event someone requests for the findings or any material related to the investigation, CBS will promptly notify Moonves to the extent it is permitted to do so.

“CBS This Morning” anchor Gayle King said on Tuesday questioned her company’s decision. “How can we have this investigation and not know how it comes out?” she said.

Moonves resigned Sunday in the wake of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct detailed in two separate New Yorker stories by Ronan Farrow. Moonves has denied any wrongdoing, labeling them as “untrue allegations” in a statement Sunday night.

In the same 8-K filing with the SEC on Monday, CBS said it would place what would be Moonves’s $120 million severance in a grantor trust, while it waits on the results of the independent investigation.

In early August, following the first of the two New Yorker reports, the The CBS board of directors voted unanimously on Wednesday to retain two law firms — Covington & Burling and Debevoise & Plimpton — to investigate the accusations of misconduct against CEO Les Moonves, as well as cultural issues at CBS News and “all levels of CBS.”

The investigations have each been headed up by women, with Nancy Kestenbaum leading for Covington & Burling, and Mary Jo White for Debevoise & Plimpton.

CBS said in a statement at the time that it “takes these allegations seriously and is committed to acting in the best interest of the Company and all of its shareholders and is confident that the employees of CBS will continue to perform at a high level as this process unfolds.”

The company later decided to fold a preexisting internal probe into CBS News, which launched after accusations against former anchor Charlie Rose, into its larger probe stemming from the Moonves report.