(JTA) — Leslie Moonves resigned as CEO of the CBS network on the same day that six more women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct.
The allegations came on Sunday night in an article in the New Yorker. Six other women had come forward in a previous article in the same magazine, also written by Ronen Farrow, that appeared on July 27. Farrow first wrote about the sexual misconduct of Harvey Weinstein, which galvanized the #MeToo movement.
“Untrue allegations from decades ago are now being made against me that are not consistent with who I am,” Moonves said in a statement Sunday. “I am deeply saddened to be leaving the company.”
His resignation was effective immediately.
CBS Corp. announced on Sunday after the resignation that it would donate $20 million “to one or more organizations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace.” The money will be deducted from Moonves’ severance package, according to CBS.
“Any payments to be made in the future will depend upon the results of the independent investigation and subsequent board evaluation,” the CBS statement said.
Moonves was named president and CEO of CBS Television in 1998, and became chairman in 2003. He grew up in a Jewish family in New York City and is a grand-nephew of the late Paula Ben-Gurion — born Paula Munweis — the wife of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion.
Moonves, 68, told the New Yorker in response to the allegations that “[t]he appalling accusations in this article are untrue,” and that he had consensual relations with three of the women named in the article more than two decades before he started at CBS.
He also said that “I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women. In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations.”
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