Les Moonves, who was forced out of his job just five months ago following multiple credible allegations of sexual violence, is already running a new company — out of an office paid for by CBS.
Moonves’ new office is in a 10th-floor suite at 9000 Sunset Boulevard, “among the tallest buildings in West Hollywood,” close to “entertainment industry beehives like Soho House and Chateau Marmont.”
Moonves was ousted from CBS in September and fired officially in December, for “willful and material misfeasance, violation of company policies and breach of this employment contract.”
Moonves was among the most powerful and successful executives in television when the CBS CEO when his name found its way into a headline above Ronan Farrow’s byline on a story that included serious allegations of sexual misconduct from a dozen women.
As more harrowing and stomach-churning allegations against Moonves came to light, it became clear he was accused not only of sexually violating women, but also hampering the careers of those who did not acquiesce to his assaults. Beneath him at CBS, it seemed, was a never-ending roster of men who ran allegedly abusive, misogynistic sets. (Which, among other things, goes a long way toward explaining the caliber of programming on CBS.)
Even though Moonves was fired for cause, his exit agreement states that CBS is required to pay for Moonves’ “office services” for at least a year.
Moonves registered Moon Rise Unlimited on October 30. As filings with the California secretary of state reads, Moonves is the manager the limited liability company is focusing on “entertainment services.”
From the Times:
Mr. Moonves also appears to have formed two related companies around the same time: Moon Rise Technologies, which it said in a filing planned to provide “streaming services and distribution,” and Moon Rise Productions, which it said planned to provide “film and television production” services.
Mr. Moonves’s specific ambitions are not clear. Moon Rise Unlimited has no website, has no track record in Hollywood and has made no efforts to promote itself when it was incorporated. A spokesman for Mr. Moonves confirmed that he had an office in the building, but declined further comment.
Moonves denies all allegations of sexual misconduct and claims he has only engaged in consensual sexual acts.
Though it appeared Moonves might walk away from his post with $120 million in severance, CBS has prevailed — for now — in denying him that golden parachute — not because Moonves allegedly sexually assaulted women at work, but because during the investigation into those allegations, Moonves misled the company and attempted to hide critical evidence against him.
Moonves is still fighting for that $120 million and per the terms of his exit agreement, CBS has been covering Moonves’ legal fees in the matter. If CBS wins the day, Moonves will have to pay his own legal fees.