Les Moonves stepped down as CEO and chairman of CBS in September after he was exposed by Ronan Farrow and The New Yorker for being an alleged sexual harasser. CBS launched an “internal investigation” and depending on how it went, Les could end up with a $120 million severance package. But according to a new story from The New York Times, he could end up with nothing after it was claimed he covered up a rape.
The Times profiled a 75-year-old talent manager named Marv Dauer who once managed an aspiring actress named Bobbie Phillips. In 1995, Marv sent a then 25-year-old Bobbie to meet with Les, president of Warner Bros. at the time, to discuss the possibility of future TV appearances. According to Bobbie, it didn’t take long before Les told her she could get on any TV show she wanted before he forced her to perform oral sex on him. Bobbie says it ended after Les received a call at his desk, and she made up an excuse before bolting out of there.
Marv tells The Times that the day after Bobbie’s meeting with Les, she told him that Les had violated her. Bobbie claims that she got panic attacks before any auditions, and eventually left the industry.
Recently, Bobbie decided to get back into acting, and Marv decided to represent her again. Marv had also heard that someone was planning an exposé on Les, so he called up Les in 2017 and asked if there was any way they could get Bobbie some work (kind of as an “I’m sorry” for what happened). Marv says Les agreed and said: “I think I’ll be ok. But if Bobbie talks, I’m done.” Bobbie says she was pissed that Marv went to Les, but she assured Marv she had no intention of speaking to any reporters about the incident and she was even willing to forgive Les. Marv and Les met up for lunch later, where Les denied every assaulting Bobbie. Les also confirmed the same to The Times, with the following statement:
“I strongly believe that the sexual encounter with Ms. Phillips more than 20 years ago was consensual.”
Bobbie was then pissed at Les for denying what he did, which is now why she’s talking.
This could all spell trouble for Les. During the past year or so, Les and Marv have been texting each other about the sexual assault allegations, and about what happened between Les and Bobbie, as well as talk about keeping her quiet in exchange for acting roles. Page Six says that could all be considered a coverup, which is a no-no when you’re being investigated for various allegations of misconduct. Les also allegedly texted Marv to delete their text messages, which Marv didn’t do. CBS’s lawyers reportedly just discovered that Les had deleted his conversations with Marv from his iPad, which again would imply an attempt at a coverup.
Right before Ronan Farrow published his exposé, Les reportedly texted Marv with an offer for Bobbie to appear on the upcoming show Blood & Treasure, begging her to take the role in exchange for $5,000 and the promise she say nothing to the press.
Bobbie turned down Les’ offer. Instead, she lawyered up, and her lawyer reportedly met with Les’s lawyers, where she asked for $15 million in damages. Negotiations fell through, and Bobbie is now weighing her legal options.
But back to Les’s $120 million severance that might vanish into thin air. His million-dollar severance package was written into his contract with CBS. Also in his contract was the agreement that he would cooperate fully with any investigation that might take place. Blackmail and deleting text messages is not cooperating, which would be a violation of his contract. Which would mean, no bye-bye money for Les.
Les is arguably a turd of the highest order (Janet Jackson, never 4get). But now I know he’s also very dumb. Deleting messages off your iPad doesn’t delete them from the person you received them from! You would think that a guy who ran a network with approximately 6.3 million crime procedural TV shows on air would have watched at least one, and learned that sloppy coverups are always how the creepy old rich guy gets caught.