Six more women have come forward to accuse CBS executive Les Moonves of sexual assault and harassment, according to a new report by Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker. Moonves has now been accused of sexual misconduct by a total of 12 women, and CNN reports his departure is now imminent.
According to Farrow, Moonves’s latest accusers detailed incidents stretching back as far as the 1980s. One woman, Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, told Farrow that when she worked with Moonves in the late ‘80s, in separate incidents he exposed himself to her, forced her to perform oral sex on him, and threw her against a wall. Per Farrow:
When Golden-Gottlieb began to ask if he was having trouble finding a parking space, she said that Moonves “grabbed my head and he took it all the way down onto his penis, and pushed his penis into my mouth.” She said he held her head in place forcibly. “He came very quickly,” she recalled. “You sort of just go numb. You don’t know what to do.” Distraught, Golden-Gottlieb demanded that Moonves take her back to the office. When she got there, she said, she vomited. “It was just sick,” she told me.
Golden-Gottlieb alleges that when she rejected Moonves’s later advances, he made life more difficult for her careerwise. “He absolutely ruined my career,” she said. “He was the head of CBS. No one was going to take me.”
Another woman, Jessica Pallingston, also claimed Moonves forced her to perform oral sex on him when she worked as his assistant in the 1990s:
Moonves, she said, then kissed her, shoving his tongue down her throat “like he was trying to reach my stomach.” Then “he said, ‘I want you to suck my cock.’ ” She recalled mumbling “O.K.,” and Moonves grabbing her head and forcing it onto his penis. “He kept his clothes on. He had Calvin Klein underpants. He pushed my head down, hard,” she said. “It was very violent, very aggressive. There was real hostility in it.”
Pallingston says Moonves called her a “cunt” when she later rebuffed him, and as was the case with Golden-Gottlieb, was cold and cruel toward her for the remainder of her time at CBS. Ultimately, Pallingston left the television industry and pursued book-writing instead. “I wouldn’t tell people the whole story, or I’d make it sound like we were having an affair,” she told Farrow. “It was way too embarrassing to be honest about it, because I believed anyone who put themself in that situation was an idiot, or weak.”
Four other women told Farrow Moonves force-kissed them, asked them for massages, made lewd comments toward them, and retaliated against them professionally when they refused him. “He’s cunning. He’s calculating. And he’s a predator,” one victim, Deborah Morris, said.
Moonves denied any sexual misconduct, telling the New Yorker that three of the reported incidents constituted “consensual relations.” The CBS board of directors said in a statement that an “investigation is actively underway.” The board has reportedly been attempting to negotiate Moonves’s exit from the network, though its members took their sweet time doing it; on Sunday, CNN reported Moonves was expected to step down as soon as Monday.