“CBS This Morning” anchor Gayle King weighed in on Les Moonves’ resignation on Tuesday, pleading on the morning broadcast for the company to publicly release findings of the investigation into the former CEO’s behavior.
“How can we have this investigation and not know how it comes out?” said King.
Moonves resigned Sunday in the wake of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct detailed in two separate New Yorker stories by Ronan Farrow.
The first report in the New Yorker in July detailed accusations from six women, who accused the longtime media mogul of sexual harassment. On Sunday, a new report from Farrow in The New Yorker outlined accusations of sexual assault and harassment from six additional women. Two law firms — Covington & Burling and Debevoise & Plimpton — are currently investigating the accusations, as well as cultural issues at CBS News and “all levels of CBS.”
Moonves has denied any wrongdoing, labeling them as “untrue allegations” in a statement Sunday night. King argued that, if Moonves ever wants to be exonerated, he should want the investigation findings out there. “Les Moonves has been on the record, he says, listen, he didn’t do these things, that it was consensual, that he hasn’t hurt anybody’s career. I would think it would be in his best interests for us to hear what the report finds out,” she continued.
Moonves could receive as much as $120 million in severance. In its 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, CBS Corp. said it would place $120 million in a grantor trust, while an independent investigation looks into the allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against the now-former CBS chief. Buried at the bottom of the filing, however, was a confidentially clause regarding the investigation:
“[CBS] shall 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 Executive (the “Investigator Information”) and not to make public such Investigator Information to the maximum extent possible consistent with fiduciary duties of directors and all applicable laws,” the company said, though it did leave some wiggle room.
“In the event that any request or demand is made or any order issued for disclosure of any Investigator Information, Employer shall promptly notify Executive to the extent permitted.”
King also defended Moonves’ wife and CBS host Julie Chen, who took a leave of absence from CBS’ daytime talk show “The Talk” in the wake of Moonves’ exit.
“I certainly feel for Julie Chen today, she’s in a very difficult position, and you know, Les Moonves has done some wonderful things for this company and we can’t forget that either,” she said. “It’s just a bad situation all the way around but I’m glad we’re covering this story and its important we cover it and get to the bottom of whatever it is.”
Watch the video above.