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CBS stock down ahead of board discussion of Les Moonves sexual harassment allegations

Les Moonves
Les Moonves poses for photos at the premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery” in Los Angeles on Sept. 19, 2017.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision / Associated Press)

Shares of CBS Corp. were down Monday ahead of a previously scheduled meeting in which the company’s board of directors is expected to determine its response to allegations of sexual harassment against Chief Executive Leslie Moonves.

The New Yorker published an article Friday in which six women accused Moonves of “forcibly kissing” them. The earliest allegations date back to 1980, and some of the women said their careers had been damaged after they rejected his advances.

CBS stock was down 4.3%, or $2.32, to $51.69 at 9:15 a.m. PDT.

On Friday, Moonves said in a statement that he recognized that “there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances.”

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“Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely,” he said. “But I always understood and respected — and abided by the principle — that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career.”

CBS said there had been no reports of sexual harassment during Moonves’ more than 20 years at the company. But its independent directors said last week that the company had launched an investigation of any inappropriate behavior.

During the meeting Monday, all board members are expected to support an in-depth investigation of the allegations, a person familiar with the matter told The Times on Sunday.

The New Yorker report comes as Moonves and other members of CBS’ board have been in a dispute with the company’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, who has pushed for a merger with Viacom Inc., which her family also owns.

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samantha.masunaga@latimes.com

Twitter: @smasunaga


UPDATES:

9:15 a.m.: This articled was updated with the latest CBS stock market quote.

This article was originally published 6:45 a.m.


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