Phyliss Golden-Gottlieb – 1980s
Phyliss Golden-Gottlieb, now 82
A former executive who worked with Moonves at Lorimar Television in the 1980s, Golden-Gottlieb alleges Moonves forced her to perform oral sex on him.
She told Ronan Farrow that he ‘grabbed my head and he took it all the way down onto his penis, and pushed his penis into my mouth.’ She also recalled how the insident made her physically sick.
In another attack, Golden-Gottlieb claims Moonves, angry over a work-related issue, threw her against a wall.
Now 82, said she made no complaint at the time because she was a single mother supporting two children.
After she rejected Moonves’ advances, Golden-Gottlieb said he retaliated against her professionally, moving her to smaller and smaller offices.
‘Every two days, he’d find a darker space, or a place downstairs, or something. He absolutely ruined my career,’ she said.
She later left the television industry to become an elementary teacher in LA.
The executive also said she looked to pursue criminal charges with Los Angeles police in the wake of the #metoo movement. She said they found her claims credible but did not to pursue charges because the statute of limitations has expired.
Dinah Kirgo – 1980s
The Emmy-winning writer of The Tracey Ullman Show met Moonves in the early 1980s with her sister and producing partner Julie Kirgo to discuss a television deal. After a productive meeting, the women were confident they had a deal.
When Dinah got home, she received a call from Moonves asking her to dinner. She said she and her sister would be happy to oblige, to which he allegedly replied, ‘No, just you and me. You’re very expensive, and I need to know you’re worth it.’
Kirgo claims she declined the offer and said, ‘Well, Leslie, I don’t think your wife would appreciate us having that kind of dinner.’ She claims Moonves then hung up and never contacted her again.
Later on, her agents began to hear reports she was difficult to work with, a claim no one had said before and, she suggested, could have been spread by Moonves as revenge for turning him down.
Linda Silverthorn – 1984
In 1984, when she was an assistant, and he was a vice-president at Twentieth Century Fox, Moonves had propositioned her, offering to help her career.
The two had consensual sexual encounters in his office over the course of about a month, she says.
But when the pair met up again Silverthorn thought she was meeting Moonves on a professional basis.
As soon as she entered his office, Silverthorn alleges Moonves shut the door to his office, took several swigs of coffee, grabbed her, and pulled her up from the chair where she was seated.
‘He kissed me while we were standing up. Coffee was on his breath,’ she recalled. ‘And then he just pulled his penis out’ and moved it towards her hand.
After the episode, Moonves told her the studio didn’t have any opportunities for her, she claims.
‘It was unwelcome, it was unwanted,’ she said. ‘[Despite the encounters six years earlier, I was there for a legitimate business meeting at nine o’clock.’
But it wasn’t just women working in the entertainment business who were allegedly assaulted but in the hospitality industry as well.
Janet Jones – 1985
In the spring of 1985, Jones was trying to get into the industry as a writer, so was delighted when producer Mike Marvin helped arrange a meeting between her and Moonves, then vice-president of Twentieth-Century Fox.
Jones was surprised when Moonves offered her a glass of wine before her pitch, so she declined and sat down on the couch. But then, she told the New Yorker, ‘he came around the corner of the table and threw himself on top of me. It was very fast.’
Moonves, she alleged, started kissing her and when she struggled shouted, ‘What do you think you are doing?’ He then remembered him saying: ‘Well, I was hitting on you. I wanted a kiss.’ As she left he called out to her to ‘calm down’.
Reaching the door, she realized it was locked. ‘If you don’t open this door,’ she told him, ‘I am going to scream so loud and so long that everyone on the lot is going to come over.’
Moonves, she then said, walked to his desk to unlock the door, rather than do it directly. Jones said that made her upset as she realized he had prepared for such a situation.
After telling several people about the meeting, Jones claims Moonves phoned her and threatened her to stay quiet about what happened or he would ‘ruin your career’.
Deborah Morris – 1980s
Morris was a junior executive working at Lorimar in the 1980s.
She went over to Moonves’ office to discuss various projects where she was offered a glass of wine which she felt unable to refuse.
‘All of a sudden, he was next to me,’ she told the New Yorker. ‘He said, ‘How about a kiss?’ I said no. And he said, ‘No, come on, how about a kiss? It’s nothing. How about a little kiss?”
Moonves continued his advances over several months, she claims. She told the magazine how one night the pair were in his Porsche when he suddenly grabbed her and tried to kiss her.
Morris ended up pulling away and hitting Moonves. She got out of the car and ran.
After the encounter Moonves refused to speak to her, and she was frozen out of meetings at Lorimar, she alleged. ‘I was hung out to dry,’ she said. ‘And that was pretty much the end of my career. I wasn’t going to get a reference.’
When Morris contemplated filing a formal complaint without naming names, she said she was discouraged by the company’s legal and human resources departments.
‘Who’s going to believe you? You’re no one,’ she recalled her contact in the legal department saying.
‘His statement was incredible. Absolutely incredible. It made me sick,’ she told me. ‘He’s cunning. He’s calculating. And he’s a predator.’
Prominent actress (unnamed) – late 1980s
A leading actress who played a policewoman in a popular CBS programme also came forward to tell her story, but refused to give her name out of fear of reprisals.
Moonves invited her out for lunch in the late 1980s at the height of her show’s popularity. She had known Moonves for years, and at the time he was working for a production company called Lorimar.
At the lunch, Moonves told the actress he had a crush on her but had not said so before because she had been in a relationship. She thanked him for the lunch but declined his advances.
When Moonves had become CBS president in 1995, she phoned up to congratulate him. ‘You should have f**** me when I asked you too,’ he told her. Taking it as a joke, the actress replied, ‘No s***!’ and they both laughed.
However, shortly afterwards the actress was informed her series deal with CBS had been cancelled. Shocked, she called Moonves and they met in his office. There, Moonves explained he had let her go because he was targeting younger talent, but repeated again that he was ‘attracted to her’, she says.
After the actress said she was going to leave, Moonves told her to sit down. She did, then fidgeted with the food on her plate until she made an excuse to leave and stood up to go.
Then, she claims, ‘I walked over and leaned to give him a kiss on the cheek’ but Moonves forcibly kissed her and ‘shoved his tongue down my throat’. Sickened, she left the room in tears and never worked for CBS again.
‘Kimberley’ – 1992
A former child star who only wanted to be identified by her first name met Moonves in 1992 after a friend said he could help her get back into television. The three sat down to a dinner, which began by Moonves asking questions about her acting career.
When her friend left to use the bathroom, she claims Moonves turned to her and said, ‘Let’s go. Let’s just get a hotel room. Let’s just do this.’ She was shocked and explained she had a husband and a child, after which Moonves got angry and left. CBS said Moonves had no record of the meeting.
Responding to the above six stories, Moonves told the New Yorker: ‘Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company.
‘I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely.
‘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.
‘This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution.’
Jessica Pallingston – 1994
The writer alleges Moonves coerced her into performing oral sex on him when she worked as his temporary assistant at Warner Bros. in spring 1994. When she refused his moves, he became hostile and called her a ‘c***’, she claims.
On her first day at work, Pallingston claims she went to Moonves’ suite at the Regency Hotel and found him in a bathrobe.
She told the New Yorker Moonves offered her wine at 10am. He then went on to ask her personal questions including whether she was single and her sexual orientation, she claims.
Then Moonves allegedly asked her for a massage. Pallingston said ‘it was uncomfortable, but I was trying to act like I was tough and cool, like I could handle it all.’
She says she remembers Moonves saying: ‘I could help you with your writing. I could help you, and if you do something nice for me I could do something nice for you.’
She said Moonves then kissed her, shoving his tongue down her throat ‘like he was trying to reach my stomach.’ Then, ‘he said, ‘I want you to suck my c***.’
‘He pushed my head down, hard,’ she said. ‘It was very violent, very aggressive. There was real hostility in it.’
Moonves allegedly began groping her breasts and, she said, ‘kept saying, ‘C’mon, let’s f***.’ Before leaving, she said: ‘He took my hand and shook it and said, ‘You did a great job.”
The pair met up again when Pallingston worked as Moonves’ assistant when he made a trip to New York. She told the magazine he was ‘a little gropey, but not much.’
On a third occasion she alleges she was groped almost immediately upon the pair meeting.
Pallingston lied and said she had become engaged. She recalls Moonves grew ‘cold as ice, hostile, nasty because I turned him down.’
Pallingston said for many years she felt ashamed about what had happened and rarely told the story to friends and colleagues. It was only after the MeToo movement gained momentum that she realized she no longer had to feel embarrassed.
Illeana Douglas – 1996
Six Feet Under actress Illeana Douglas said during a 1997 meeting with Moonves he kissed her ‘violently’ and then pulled up her skirt while thrusting his aroused groin into her
Douglas told The New Yorker she found herself fending off Moonves in 1996 after signing a $300,000 first-look deal with CBS.
They two spent months working together and Douglas said she came to see him like a ‘father,’ until the day he allegedly forced himself on her in his office.
Douglas, who had just split from Marin Scorsese and was working on the network’s sitcom Queens, said it all happened in a flash.
‘In a millisecond, he’s got one arm over me, pinning me,’ said Douglas, who described the ‘physicality’ of the incident as horrendous.
Douglas said she eventually broke free from Moonves, but unable to function on set she found herself out of a job soon after and was replaced in the network’s sitcom.
She told multiple people and got a lawyer, which resulted in CBS paying her $125,000 for her work on Queens and $250,000 to star in a television miniseries.
‘I go from being sexually assaulted, fired for not having sex with Les Moonves, fired by everyone, to ‘We are going to pay you in full and we also want you to be on this miniseries’,’ Douglas said.
‘My understanding is, this is what they were going to do in exchange for not suing.’
When asked to comment on the miniseries deal and payment to Douglas, CBS said: ‘There were no funds added for settlement purposes. The amount paid was half of what she was owed, which is not what one might do if concerned about a claim such as this.’
Dr. Anne L. Peters – 1999
Dr. Anne Peters described an attack by an anonymous patient in 1999 in a medical journal entry about the MeToo movement this May. Vanity Fair named Moonves as the patient on Sunday and he conceded that he tried to kiss Peters but she rejected him
Independent from the accusations in Farrow’s two New Yorker pieces are those of Dr. Anne L. Peters who penned her account of being sexually harassed by an unnamed VIP patient in May this year.
Its title was ‘A Physician’s Place in the MeToo Movement.’ It appeared in The Annals of Internal Medicine.
Though Peters did not name her alleged attacker, she described the man trying to force himself on her twice then masturbating when she refused him.
She was not allowed to name him out doctor-patient confidentiality.
In her account, she wrote: ‘I did my usual initial interview, and then we stood to move to the examination table. He grabbed me as I stepped forward. He pulled himself against me and tried to force himself on me.
‘He did this twice; when I rebuffed him, he stood beside the examination table and satisfied himself.
She said she felt ‘ashamed’ afterwards but found someone to report him to.
‘I had no idea what to do. I felt ashamed, I hadn’t screamed—I was supposed to be offering “extra-special” service to this man because he was rich and powerful and good for my institution (a place I no longer work).
‘I don’t quite remember how I figured out who to call to report this incident. However, I did call, largely because I wanted a note placed in his chart warning other women never to be alone with him.’
The unnamed patient called her the next day to apologize and that he had done the ‘same thing’ with ‘many women’.
‘He said that he had a terrible problem and that he had done the same thing with many other women,’ the doctor wrote.
On Sunday, after Farrow’s second piece on Moonves’ alleged misconduct was published, Vanity Fair named him as the subject of the medical journal.
In response to the magazine, Moonves admitted trying to ‘kiss’ the doctor during their only visit in 1999 but said he did not force himself on her.
‘The appalling allegations about my conduct toward a female physician some 20 years ago are untrue.
‘What is true, and what I deeply regret, is that I tried to kiss the doctor. Nothing more happened,’ he said.
Dr. Peters would not go on record.
Deborah Kitay – late 1990s
Massage therapist Deborah Kitay reveals she was harrassed by Moonves in the 1990s
Kitay worked as a massage therapist in Los Angeles and said Moonves harassed her when she gave him massages at his office and home in the late 1990s.
‘Bottom line is, every time I went in there for about a year and a half to two years, he would ask me to work higher up his leg in a way that was clearly sexual.’
On one occasion she alleges Moonves asked her to touch his penis and threw off a towel that was covering him, thereby exposing himself.
She said the experience was ‘very stressful,’ but never stopped the sessions, fearing any complaints from Moonves could hurt her career.
Kitay told the New Yorker the treatment she received from Moonves eventually saw her turning down male clients and then leave massage therapy altogether.
The above claims were made in the most recent New Yorker article on Sunday.
Moonves said in response to the six stories above: ‘The appalling accusations in this article are untrue.
‘What is true is that I had consensual relations with three of the women some 25 years ago before I came to CBS. And I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women.
‘In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations. 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.’
Christine Peters – 2000s
Christine Peters, who accuses Moonves of forcing himself on her in a business meeting, is pictured in Los Angeles on December 21, 2017
The producer also described Moonves forcing himself on her during a business meeting.
By the early 2000s, Peters was already an industry veteran, having worked on hit films including The Godfather and Chinatown, often relying on her long term friend and confidante Sumner Redstone for advice and help.
In 2006, Peters and Redstone had dinner with Moonves, then CBS chairman, to discuss his plans to launch CBS Studios.
Redstone suggested Peters could be an executive at the studio, an idea that seemed to excite Moonves. The pair met in his office to discuss the prospect, and Peters began delivering a detailed plan and her idea to target the female demographic.
As she continued, Peters joined her on the coach and sat uncomfortably close, she told the New Yorker. Then, she claims, he put his hand up her skirt, and touched her underwear. In a state of shock, Peters claims she tried to make an excuse to leave to her car.
Deborah Green – 2000s
Green was a freelance makeup artist who worked for CBS in the early 2000s. One day, she had been tasked with applying Moonves’ makeup before a video shoot.
Afterwards, she went back to his office to remove the makeup whereupon Moonves allegedly asked for a massage.
Then he stood up, turned around and grabbed her, she claims. ‘He stuck his tongue down my throat,’ she told The New Yorker. ‘It was like a forceful hold.’
Green decided not to report the incident. ‘I didn’t want my livelihood to be jeopardized,’ she said. ‘Knowing that Les is powerful is why I didn’t speak out at the time. I was a makeup artist who had no voice.