Les Moonves and Julie Chen spotted on date night after his harassment scandal
Two months after his forced exit from CBS, former TV executive Les Moonves and his wife, Julie Chen, stepped out on a date night at one of their favorite Beverly Hills spots.
The couple, who have been married for 14 years, looked serene as they left Madeo restaurant on Saturday night, a spot famous for attracting some of the older, sophisticated Hollywood executives. In the pics, shared by The Blast, Chen donned a fur-trimmed, pink coat while Moonves went for a stylish black coat over a black t-shirt.
Les Moonves & Julie Chen went to dinner at one of their favorite power hangouts in Beverly Hills.https://t.co/GIss60sFbr— The Blast (@TheBlastNews) November 25, 2018
It’s been a rough year for the couple, especially for Moonves, who’s currently in the middle of an investigation after a dozen of women came forward in between June and September accusing him of sexual harassment in the workplace.
STICKING TOGETHER THROUGH THE STORM
He resigned to his position as CEO in CBS, one that he held for 20 years, in the wake of the accusations, but has been treating his departure as a “retirement,” even though several sources have revealed the members of the board at CBS had been planning his removal for months.
Julie Chen Moonves and Les Moonves head out to dinner together in Beverly Hills: https://t.co/P2sRV7PZ0D— JustJared.com (@JustJared) November 25, 2018
Julie Chen, on the other hand, quit her job in the talk show “The Talk,” showing her support for Moonves. She had been hosting the chat show for the past nine seasons and signed off her leave using her husband’s last name, a first in her career of 20 years with the network.
However, Chen is set to keep hosting the reality show “Big Brother,” and CBS recently confirmed that she would be making her return to the screens in January with the second season of “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition.”
DENYING THE ACCUSATIONS
As for Les Moonves, the 67-year-old has vehemently denied the sexual harassment allegations made against him, which were made public by a report on The New Yorker last September.
He told the reporter behind the story, Ronan Farrow, that he “had consensual relations with three of the women some 25 years ago,” but denied being the monster some of the women painted him to be.
The women, all of whom worked with Moonves in between the ‘80s and the early ‘00s, all different accounts of their encounter with the executive. Among the accusations, some stated Moonves forced them to perform oral sex on him; other said he threw her against a wall violently, and other revealed he used his power in the industry to make her professional career a nightmare after she rejected him.
“In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations,” he told Farrow on his defense. And continued:
“I can only surmise they are surfacing now for the first time, decades later, as part of a concerted effort by others to destroy my name, my reputation, and my career. Anyone who knows me knows that the person described in this article is not me.”
Meanwhile, the CBS board of directors launched their own investigation on the claims, seeking the legal advice of two different law firms, and stating, according to the New York Times, that they were flabbergasted by Moonves’ “betrayal” to the company.
EXPECTING A MONETARY COMPENSATION
Hours after Farrow’s article was published, CBS released a statement about Moonves’ departure from the company. They revealed the donation of $20 million in the company’s and Moonve’s name to “one or more organizations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace.”
They also revealed that, despite what was initially reported, Les would not receive any monetary benefits, for now.
According to the company’s policies, if the ongoing investigation proves that they fired Moonves without reason, he should receive a $120 million payout, which is now in a holdover trust. However, if verified that his contract was terminated for cause, he gains nothing, and the entire sum of money goes back to the company.
The possibility of Moonves receiving any kind of money has caused outrage among his accusers. Jessica Pallingston, a writer and one of the women in the case, said “It’s completely disgusting,” of the reports of Moonves’ possible exit package. “He should take all that money and give it to an organization that helps survivors of sexual abuse.”
CBS chief executive Les Moonves has resigned amid a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations, ending a 20-year tenure atop one of the country's most important media empires https://t.co/sudp1OrNAm pic.twitter.com/vjAs9bJ40J— CNN (@CNN) September 9, 2018
But whether he gets that money or not, Moonves’ net worth nears the $800 million. According to Forbes, most of his fortune comes from CBS stock sales, and the rest comes from his salaries, bonuses and real estate.
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