Disgraced media mogul Les Moonves is threatening to sue CBS over latest leaks of lurid particulars about his alleged sexual misconduct, The Put up has discovered.
In what’s anticipated to quantity to a breach of contract go well with, Moonves’ attorneys are getting ready to allege that leaks to the New York Occasions this week about CBS’s pending investigation into Moonves broke a confidentiality settlement and sullied the exec’s popularity, sources near Moonves stated.
At stake is a $120 million exit bundle for Moonves, which may get slashed or worn out fully if the board finds that CBS’s ex-chairman and chief govt violated the corporate’s harassment insurance policies.
“He was about to get nothing,” an insider stated of Moonves, citing the report’s damaging findings, together with that the media exec had oral intercourse with at the very least 4 workers, in addition to one community worker “on name” to pleasure him, in accordance with a Wednesday report by the Occasions.
The 59-page draft report additionally claimed that Moonves destroyed proof of his misdeeds and evaded investigators, and that CBS workers and a few former board members lined up Moonves’ habits.
With these confidential findings now public, attorneys for Moonves, who has stated he believed the sexual encounters had been consensual, consider they’ve now bought a foot within the door to “problem the method legally,” the supply stated.
“They suppose [the leak is] the dumbest factor they’ve ever seen,” the supply stated of Moonves’ attorneys, who’ve speculated that the report bought leaked by any individual who “acted out of emotion” — both due to sturdy convictions about #MeToo points or loyalty to Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder and nemesis of Moonves.
The draft report was assembled by a pair of white-shoe legislation companies, Covington & Burling and Debevoise & Plimpton, that had been employed in September, to conduct the Moonves investigation.
The id of the leaker isn’t identified, however sources near the scenario famous that Covington & Burling has workplaces are in the identical constructing because the New York Occasions in Midtown Manhattan.
Certainly, Covington’s attorneys on the probe not too long ago moved their Moonves-related conferences to a different location, sources stated. The agency didn’t return requests for remark.
The probe was nearing an finish and it’s believed that the board was able to render a verdict in time for its annual assembly subsequent Tuesday. However the report leaked to the Occasions “has thrown every little thing into chaos,” in accordance with a supply near the scenario.
Tom Johnson, a spokesman for the 2 companies conducting the probe, didn’t touch upon the origin of the leak however sought to clear the board of any potential wrongdoing.
“No findings have been reported to the board,” Johnson stated. “No draft of the investigators’ ongoing work product has been shared with the board or the corporate … Anybody who might have disclosed draft data to the New York Occasions did so with out authority and in violation of their obligations.”
Moonves’ lawyer Andrew Levander declined to remark.
Dan Eaton, a companion at legislation agency Seltzer Caplan McMahon & Vitek who focuses on severance points, speculates that the leak may solely have come from the legislation companies on the behest of both CBS, a board member or controlling shareholder Shari Redstone.
“CBS is in a high-profile enterprise. The viewing public cares about what the community’s officers do and why they do it,” Eaton stated. “On this # MeToo second, leaking the report might have been designed to spice up the community’s case within the court docket of public opinion whilst it could find yourself complicating the community’s case in a court docket of legislation,” Eaton stated.
That brings again the query of the $120 million payout.
“If it’s zero, it’s sport on,” stated Eaton. “Moonves has 120 million causes to sue. CBS shouldn’t be going to provide him something greater than zero except he indicators a launch promising to not sue.”
In line with Sam P. Israel, managing companion of his namesake Manhattan legislation agency, the leak was seemingly “calculated” and it provides CBS a great “negotiating place” within the case of a settlement.
Israel stated the leak is a “message to the Moonves lawyer” that there’s proof linked to a plethora of recent claims.
“Moonves will most likely get a settlement within the 10s of thousands and thousands, not the $120 million,” Israel provided.
CBS declined to remark.