UPDATE with details of CBS executives noted in AG report: A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) captain has intervened directly and repeatedly in an investigation into sexual assault allegations against former CBS CEO Moonves, the New York Attorney General said today. York, Letitia James, providing confidential information to company executives as they attempted to manage the crisis.
The LAPD captain, who is not named in the AG’s statement, informed a CBS executive, Ian Metrose, the same day a lawsuit was filed against Moonves in Hollywood at the height of the #MeToo movement. Metrose, senior vice president of talent relations and special events at CBS at the time and still with the company as senior vice president of special events, shared it with others. The captain continued to provide updates and worked to prevent press leaks. The LAPD captain knew Metrose, who hired him to serve as Moonves’ security assistant at the Grammy Awards from 2008 to 2014. When the allegations became public, the officer texted: “We have worked so hard to try to avoid this day. I’m so sad.
He says the captain first left Metrose a voicemail saying, “Someone walked into the station about a few hours ago and made allegations against your boss about a sexual assault. It’s confidential, as you know, but give me a call, and I can give you some details and let you know what the allegation is before it goes to the media or airs.
Metrose alerted his direct supervisor, late CBS communications chief Gil Schwartz, and Schwartz boss Moonves to the message. Schwartz told Metrose to request a copy of the police report, according to the AG. The LAPD captain sent Metrose the unredacted document, disclosing the plaintiff’s personal identifying information. Metrose circulated the police report to senior CBS executives, including Moonves, Schwartz; and the CBS security chief, who shared it with former human resources chief Anthony Ambrosio.
“Each of the leaders then went to work to deal with the impending crisis,” the GA report said. Read it in full here.
CBS also authorized Schwartz, according to the report, to sell “millions of dollars” of CBS stock in the weeks before the allegations were released.
“These actions constituted insider trading and violated New York’s investor protection laws,” the AG said, announcing a cumulative total settlement of $30.5 million with the company and Moonves to resolve the investigation. from his office.
In a statement, the LAPD said it was “investigating the actions of a former commanding officer.”
“It has recently come to the attention of the Los Angeles Police Department that the New York Attorney General is conducting an investigation regarding the actions of a former department commanding officer while assigned as a captain in the Hollywood division. We are cooperating fully with the New York and California Attorney General’s offices and have also launched an internal investigation into the conduct of the retired commanding officer as well as to identify any other members of the organization who may have been involved. .
“What is most appalling is the alleged breach of trust of a victim of sexual assault, among the most vulnerable, by a member of the LAPD. It erodes public trust and does not reflect our values as organization,” said Chief Michel Moore.
James said his office secured a total of $30.5 million from CBS — now part of Paramount Global — and Moonves to resolve an investigation into the cover-up of sexual assault and misdemeanor allegations. initiated. CBS is to pay a total of $28 million, of which $22 million will go to shareholders.
The settlement included $6 million for CBS to reform its sexual harassment HR practices, including reporting and training, and to provide semi-annual reports to the OAG. That part of the deal, starting in 2020, was to be split into payments of $2 million over three years through 2022. Moonves must also obtain written approval from the OAG before accepting a management position or executive in a public company doing business in New York for five years. .
Another big chunk, as Deadline reported earlier today, is $9.75 million from Paramount and Moonves, including $2.5 million from the former executive.
The total also includes a $14.75 million payout — the amount of a settlement CBS reached earlier this year with plaintiffs in a federal shareholder class action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York. This pact should be finalized at a hearing tomorrow. If paid, the amount will be credited towards the GA settlement.
Moonves must also obtain written approval from the OAG before accepting an executive or management position with a public company doing business in New York for the next five years.
James said the investigation showed that “CBS and its senior management were aware of multiple sexual assault allegations against Mr. Moonves and intentionally concealed these allegations from regulators, shareholders and the public for months.”
GA press release: “During the height of the #MeToo movement, CBS and Mr. Moonves became aware of several sexual assault allegations against Mr. Moonves and attempted to conceal them from the public. The OAG investigation uncovered new information about the direct and repeated interference by an LAPD captain in an ongoing investigation into sexual assault allegations against Mr. Moonves.On the same day, an individual filed a confidential sexual assault complaint against Mr. Moonves at an LAPD station in Hollywood, an LAPD captain informed a CBS executive of the confidential complaint.The LAPD captain shared an unredacted police report with the executive, who shared it with Mr. Moonves and other CBS executives Each of the executives then went to work dealing with the impending crisis, and Mr. Moonves and the CBS executive questioned the LAPD captain about the complainant’s motives and her next course of action. text messages obtained by OAG, Mr. Moo nves said, “I hope we can kill PD media. So imagine [sic] What [Complainant #1] wanna.”
Over the course of several months, the LAPD captain continued to covertly provide Mr. Moonves and CBS executives with updates on the LAPD investigation. The LAPD captain made it clear that he was willing to intervene on Mr. Moonves’ behalf and Mr. Moonves asked for his help. He assured CBS executives that he had spoken to his LAPD contacts and put controls in place to prevent news of the police report from being leaked to the press by the LAPD. He added that “although it’s not 100% confidential because we have to bring the [district attorney] in the picture, I think at this point CBS should feel better than last week. The key is that NO other accusers come forward.
Mr. Moonves and the CBS executive met with the LAPD captain in person and discussed the investigation. When the allegations finally became public and Mr. Moonves resigned from CBS, the LAPD captain texted the executive saying, “We have worked so hard to try to avoid this day. I’m so sad.
While aware of the allegations against Mr. Moonves, CBS and Mr. Moonves made misleading statements to the public and to regulators months before the allegations hit the headlines. At a public event, Mr Moonves falsely said he was unaware of workplace harassment issues, as he privately tried to interfere with the Los Angeles investigation and s was working to suppress another allegation discovered by a journalist. In its annual filing with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), under “risk factors,” CBS said its business “depends on the continued efforts, capabilities and expertise of its chief executive and other key employees. without disclosing that Mr. Moonves his tenure at CBS was in jeopardy because he was accused of sexual assault.
AAs CBS attempted to cover up these allegations, the company allowed its former communications director, Gil Schwartz, who was one of the few people with information about the allegations and the LAPD police report, to sell his stock. Six weeks before the first story about the allegations went public, Mr. Schwartz sold 160,709 CBS shares at a weighted average price of $55.08 for a total of $8,851,852. The stock fell 10.9% between the day before the news broke and the following trading day.
Mr. Moonves’ actions as CEO of CBS, along with the actions of other senior executives, constituted persistent and unlawful conduct and violated New York’s Martin Act and other investor protection laws.
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