Law firms investigating CBS News detail abuses, but some employees question findings

Ex-CBS boss Moonves had employee 'on call' for oral sex tried to obstruct investigation – report

CBS paid more than $5million in hush money to an employee who accused late 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt of repeated sexual assault and destroying her career, a bombshell new report has revealed.

According to the Times, investigators found that "60 Minutes'" administrative and cultural independence from CBS played a role in enabling misconduct in its operation.

The report is a draft that's expected to be presented to the CBS board next week ahead of the company's annual meeting.

Read the Times' report on the investigators' draft here.

"There were a lot of people at CBS that knew about the allegations against him".

The revelation comes after CEO Les Moonves made his exit in September after being accused of sexual misconduct.

"Several CBS execs recalled a female employee who was "'on call' to perform oral sex on Mr. Moonves" - allegations Moonves did not exactly deny, countering through his lawyer that he "never put or kept someone on the payroll for the goal of sex" and calling the relationship "consensual". The investigators found additional claims against Moonves and said that he lied to them to obstruct their investigation.

Reuters  Brian Snyder
Reuters Brian Snyder

Lawyers researching sexual harassment at the network after a series of recent scandals found that CBS quietly reached a settlement with the woman in the 1990s and the network continues to pay her to this day, according to a New York Times report.

On Wednesday, CBS News spoke to another woman, June Seley Kimmel, who said Moonves forcibly kissed her in 1985 after she pitched a movie to him when he was the head of development at 20th Century Fox.

When asked what she would say to Moonves now if she could, Kimmel got emotional.

"You killed the dream of a woman who was so young and needed a break and worked so hard to get that and you really - it was bad", she said.

A new report commissioned by CBS's board of directors brings the victim count to 17 and paints a lurid picture of Moonves' time at the network. CBS declined to comment.

A lawyer for Moonves, Andrew J. Levander, said in a statement that Moonves said he cooperated "extensively and fully" with investigators.

The reported findings are part of a broader investigation two independent law firms are conducting into sexual misconduct at CBS.

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