Fired CBS Chief Les Moonves Quietly Sets Up New Venture, Moon Rise Productions
A new accuser has come forward with an accusation of sexual misconduct against Les Moonves, claiming the former CBS chairman and CEO stuck his tongue down her throat during a movie pitch meeting in 1985.
June Seley Kimmel recounted her experience with Moonves — and the ongoing CBS investigation into accusations made against him — in a story published by The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday, less than a day after a report from investigators alleging Moonves engaged in “multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct in and outside of the workplace” was leaked to the New York Times.
Kimmel told The Hollywood Reporter she met with Moonves — who was ousted from CBS in September after multiple accusations of misconduct — to pitch him a movie when he was still head of development at 20th Century Fox in the ’80s.
She told THR he said he was going to make her film and then he became physical: “He came over and hugged me, I thought he was just being genuine. And he held me super close and proceeded to stick his tongue down my throat. It was revolting. He didn’t even kiss me! Just the tongue down the throat.”
Kimmel told THR she was aware of “old casting couch” that actresses faced — but “never expected that to happen in the capacity of pitching a movie.”
“I said, ‘What are you doing?’ He said, ‘I got a little carried away. That was so amazing. You’re so amazing.’ He acted a little bit contrite. He didn’t treat me like a laughing prick. He acted a little deferential to my remark so I recovered pretty quickly. Because he was nice, I didn’t storm out.”
She told THR that Moonves said he’d call her and she wasn’t “initially devastated” but hoped “he was going to f–ing make my movie so I could forget that it happened.”
Kimmel said Moonves called her a few days later and asked when he could see her again, and she took a page from her “friend’s playbook” when trying to bring it back around to the movie: So I said, ‘You’re a very sexy guy.’ I wasn’t good at it but I gave it my level best. And he was sexy and handsome. I wasn’t lying. I said, ‘If there weren’t pictures of your beautiful wife all over your office … and I’m very vulnerable … and I can’t. I hope you’re still going to do the movie.’ He kept me on the phone a little longer and then he said, ‘Oh, someone’s here.’ And I never heard from him again. “
Kimmel — who THR says first tweeted about this incident with Moonves in December 2017 — told THR she has been involved in the CBS investigation into Moonves, and has been “annoyed at the pushiness” and thought it was “strange when they were asking for all of this verification.”
At some point someone called me and said, “There’s a dispute. Would you mind speaking to someone at CBS?” There were two women on the line. I told them the story and it got strange when they were asking for all of this verification. My sister wasn’t good enough for them. I asked a friend and she said, “I remember every detail,” but that wasn’t good enough, either. I was annoyed at the pushiness. What did they think — I was looking for publicity? But when I think about it, it seems to me that what he did should be grounds for firing. I know he liked my idea and thought it could be a really good movie. But if a woman won’t fuck you, you’re going to screw your company.
Both a representative for CBS and one for the investigation into Moonves declined TheWrap’s request for comment Wednesday on Kimmel’s accusation against Moonves and her comments about the investigation.
A report by lawyers for CBS found that the network would be justified in denying former CEO Les Moonves a $120 million severance payout because he destroyed evidence and misled investigators looking into accusations of sexual misconduct, the New York Times reported Tuesday, citing a draft of a report prepared for the company’s board.
According to the Times, the report 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.”
Andrew J. Levander, Moonves’ lawyer, said Moonves “denies having any nonconsensual sexual relation” and “cooperated extensively and fully with investigators.”
Levander did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap on Tuesday. CBS declined to comment.
The Times said the report was drafted late in November and could change before it is presented to CBS’ full board in advance of the company’s annual meeting next week.
The newspaper said lawyers who conducted the inquiry said they had spoken with Moonves four times, and found him to be “evasive and untruthful at times” and to have “deliberately lied about and minimized the extent of his sexual misconduct.”
Two firms, Debevoise & Plimpton and Covington & Burling, investigated in part to determine if Moonves violated his employment agreement, which would allow the company to fire him for cause and not pay his severance.
“Based on the facts developed to date, we believe that the board would have multiple bases upon which to conclude that the company was entitled to terminate Moonves for cause,” the report reads, according to the Times.
Last week, the Times reported on a new accusation against Moonves: That he conspired with the former manager of actress Bobbie Phillips to keep her from coming forward to accuse him of sexual assault. Moonves said last week that the encounter was consensual.
Moonves was accused of sexual misconduct by six women in a July New Yorker article written by Ronan Farrow. Six more women came forward in August. Moonves resigned as CEO of CBS in September following a two-month investigation, but has denied all accusations.
The report also includes previously undisclosed accusations of sexual misconduct, the Times said.
Read original story New Les Moonves Accuser Recalls ‘Revolting’ 1985 Pitch Meeting: He Stuck ‘His Tongue Down My Throat’ At TheWrap