The New York State Attorney General’s office released further claims about the Los Angeles Police Department’s complicity in the affair on Wednesday, and Paramount Global and former CBS head Les Moonves agreed to make extra payments to settle the inquiry.
New York Attorney General Letitia James conducted an investigation into reports that an LAPD commanding officer had informed the former CBS CEO and other executives in 2018 about sexual assault allegations before they became public.
NY AG: LAPD Captain Warned CBS About Les Moonves’ Sexual Assault Claim!
The LAPD officer reportedly told CBS producer Ian Metrose in a voicemail, “I know we haven’t talked in a while. I’m a captain with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Division. A few of hours ago, someone stepped into the station and allegedly made sexual assault accusations against your employer.
You realize this is confidential, but if you phone me I can tell you what the allegation is before it gets out to the media or anyone else. Okay, then, I’ll see you in a little time. Bye.”
According to the report, one of the top executives allegedly used this intelligence to unload millions of dollars worth of stock before the company went public.
Six weeks before an article about the charges against Moonves was published, CBS allegedly authorized the executive, Gil Schwartz, to sell more than $8 million worth of stock, according to James. Under the pen name Stanley Bing, Schwartz authored several books, including “Crazy Bosses: Spotting Them, Serving Them, and Surviving Them,” before his untimely demise in 2020.
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James claims she informed the California Attorney General’s office about the situation. The LAPD has declined to comment through a spokesperson. CNBC has contacted the company’s spokespeople for Moonves as well as Metro’s, who is still employed there. When asked for an update on him, Paramount declined.
Without admitting guilt or wrongdoing, Paramount is “pleased to resolve this matter relating to events from 2018 with the New York Attorney General’s office,” a representative said Wednesday. This “issue” concerns the alleged wrongdoing of CBS’s former CEO, who was fired in 2018 for cause and has nothing to do with the current state of the firm.
As of early 2019, the amalgamated firm was known as Paramount Global, having previously been known as CBS. Text communications between the LAPD captain, high-level CBS executives, and Moonves were discovered throughout the investigation, proving the claims.
According to the statement issued by the attorney general on Wednesday, the captain had been working with executives for months to keep the complaint under wraps.
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Allegations of sexual misconduct and issues with CBS’s culture led to Moonves’ departure from the network in 2018. The board then recruited two law firms to look into the claims and confirmed there was sufficient cause to terminate the executive’s employment. Moonves has always said the allegations against him are false.
New from @MegJamesLAT: LAPD captain helped cover up allegations of sexual harassment by former CBS chief Leslie Moonves in 2017, N.Y. attorney general says https://t.co/zQH7Sth649
— Vanessa Franko (@vanessafranko) November 2, 2022
Paramount announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to pay $7.25 million to shareholders, with Moonves contributing $2.5 million, as part of the company’s third-quarter financial reporting. These funds are in addition to the $14.25 million already paid by Paramount as part of the settlement.
James stated in a statement released on Wednesday, “CBS and Leslie Moonves‘ actions to suppress victims, lie to the public, and mislead investors can only be defined as despicable.” According to the report, CBS “failed its most basic duty to be honest and upfront with the public and investors” as a publicly listed firm.
As part of the settlement, Moonves agreed not to serve as an officer or director of any corporation doing business in New York without obtaining prior consent from the New York attorney general’s office.
On Wednesday, Paramount disclosed in public documents that it had struck a settlement with the Investor Protection Bureau of the New York attorney general’s office.
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