Les Moonves to Challenge CBS's Decision to Withhold $120 Million Severance

Les Moonves not going away quietly, fighting CBS for $120M exit package

One month after CBS announced they would not pay out Les Moonves' $120 million severance package, the former CEO has let it be known that he's not going away quietly.

In a filing Wednesday with the Security Exchange Commission, CBS announced that Moonves has demanded binding arbitration proceedings and will challenge the network's decision. 

In the document posted to the company's corporate website, CBS said Moonves has the right to arbitration proceedings under the separation agreement he signed in September. The network maintains that Moonves was fired for cause, and is not entitled to any severance pay. 

CBS's board of directors announced they were denying Moonves his severance package last month based on the grounds he did not "cooperate fully" with an investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct,

"As previously reported, on December 17, 2018, CBS Corporation... announced that its Board of Directors had completed its investigation of the Company’s former Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, Leslie Moonves, and had determined that there were grounds to terminate his employment with the Company for cause under the Company’s employment agreement with Mr. Moonves and that Mr. Moonves will not be entitled to receive any severance payment from the Company," the filing reads. 

"On Jan. 16, 2019, Mr. Moonves notified the Company of his election to demand binding arbitration with respect to this matter," it added. "The Company does not intend to comment further on this matter during the pendency of the arbitration proceedings."

Moonves was accused of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen women in incidents reaching back to the 90s. Outside lawyers hired by CBS conducted an investigation into the allegations and found the 69-year-old CEO to be "evasive and untruthful" and had "deliberately lied about and minimized the extent of his sexual misconduct." 

A leaked version of the report obtained by the New York Times said Moonves "engaged in multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct in and outside of the workplace, both before and after he came to CBS in 1995." 

Photo: Getty Images

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