Les Moonves destroyed evidence in sexual misconduct investigation, report says

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Former CBS head Les Moonves has spoken out after being ousted for multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
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Disgraced ex-CBS chief Leslie Moonves reportedly destroyed evidence and interfered with an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Lawyers hired by the network to conduct the investigation found Moonves, 69, to be “evasive and untruthful at times and to have deliberately lied about and minimized the extent of his sexual misconduct,” according to an internal report obtained by the New York Times Tuesday. 

The report says 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,” adding that the former CEO “received oral sex from at least 4 CBS employees under circumstances that sound transactional.”

Related: Illeana Douglas: Les Moonves called my sexual assault ‘a lot of fun’

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Investigators also learned from multiple staff members that Moonves had a company employee “who was ‘on call’ to perform oral sex” on him.

“A number of employees were aware of this and believed that the woman was protected from discipline or termination as a result of it,” a draft of the report reads. “Moonves admitted to receiving oral sex from the woman, his subordinate, in his office, but described it as consensual.”

Moonves’ lawyer Andrew J. Levander told the Times Tuesday that his client “never put or kept someone on the payroll for the purpose of sex.”

Related: Julie Chen returning to CBS for ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ following ‘Talk’ exit

The report lists Moonves’ 2004 marriage to “Big Brother” host Julie Chen as a “bright light” in which his sexual misconduct appeared to stop. Chen has stood by her husband throughout the allegations. 

Moonves, who was forced out by the CBS board in September, has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen women. He denies all allegations against him. 

The Times said the copy of the report it viewed was drafted last month, and could be adjusted before it is presented to the CBS board. That is expected to happen before the company’s annual meeting next week.

“No findings have been reported to the Board,” said Tom Johnson, a spokesperson for investigators told USA TODAY in a statement. “The Board has reached no conclusions on this matter. The investigators and the Board are committed to a thorough and fair process. “

The statement continued: “Our work is still in progress and there are bound to be many facts and assessments that evolve and change as the work is completed. Anyone who may have disclosed draft information to the New York Times did so without authority and in violation of their obligations.”

USA TODAY has reached out to CBS for comment.

CBS is currently negotiating Moonves’ $120 million exit package, which the network would not have to pay him if it’s determined that Moonves violated the terms of his employment agreement.

Related: Why Les Moonves’ $120M CBS exit package looks ever more imperiled

List: All of the Hollywood power players accused of sexual assault or harassment

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