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CBS and Ten Network boss, Les Moonves is quitting under a growing cloud of sexual harassment claims, on top of his complete misreading of the situation in his boardroom brawl with the company’s largest shareholder — the Redstone family’s National Amusements. A new round of sexual assault allegations against Moonves reported by the New Yorker magazine at the weekend has added to earlier claims from a group of women who made sexual harassment claims against Moonves.

Moonves’ resignation emerged on Sunday afternoon in New York a few hours after the Ronan Farrow report. The CBS board reportedly met in New York over the weekend to discuss Moonves’ position. The new claims in the New Yorker are said to have decided the situation once and for all.

Moonves is resigning and not being fired for cause by the board, which means he is entitled to a rather generous severance package including stock options, retirement benefits and a possible production deal.

Late last week that was estimated at more than $US200 million, but US media reports now say he will not get anywhere near that amount. Moonves will only be entitled to “accrued benefits and deferred compensation”. The rest will be held back by the board pending the completion of an investigation into his conduct. Some reports say he could receiving be between $US25 million and $US35 million (but he has been paid more than $US360 million over the past five years).

Peter Fray

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