Leslie Moonves will pay $30.5M for insider trading



CBS and its former president, Leslie Moonves, will pay $30.5 million as a part of an settlement with the New York legal professional normal’s workplace, which says the community’s executives conspired with a Los Angeles police captain to hide sexual assault allegations towards Moonves.

Under the deal introduced Wednesday by Attorney General Letitia James, the printed big is required to pay $22 million to shareholders and one other $6 million for sexual harassment and assault packages. Moonves will need to pay $2.5 million, all of which will profit stockholders who the legal professional normal mentioned had been initially saved in the dead of night in regards to the allegations.

At least a type of executives — one of many few aware about an inside investigation — bought tens of millions of {dollars} of stock earlier than the allegations towards Moonves turned public, which the legal professional normal’s workplace mentioned amounted to insider trading.

“As a publicly traded firm, CBS failed its most simple obligation to be trustworthy and clear with the general public and traders. After making an attempt to bury the reality to guard their fortunes, at present CBS and Leslie Moonves are paying tens of millions of {dollars} for their wrongdoing,” James mentioned in an announcement, calling makes an attempt to mislead traders “reprehensible.”

A spokesperson for Paramount Global, which owns CBS, mentioned it was “happy to resolve this matter … with none admission of legal responsibility or wrongdoing,” including that the “matter concerned alleged misconduct by CBS’s former CEO, who was terminated for trigger in 2018, and doesn’t relate in any technique to the present firm.”

In October 2017, the .MeToo motion started to select up steam as media mogul Harvey Weinstein and others within the leisure business had been accused of sexual abuse. The following month Los Angeles police obtained a criticism towards Moonves, who lower than three weeks later referred to as the motion “a watershed moment” throughout a Variety journal summit.

Moonves resigned from CBS on Sept. 9, 2018.

In a doc outlining the findings of its investigation, the legal professional normal’s workplace detailed an alleged scheme by a unnamed Los Angeles police captain to attempt to cowl up the allegations towards Moonves.

The Los Angeles Police Department later recognized the captain as Cory Palka, who retired final yr within the rank of commander after 34 years within the division. He had served because the commanding officer of the Hollywood Division for greater than three years. He didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark Thursday.

Palka’s LinkedIn profile says he was “Incident Commander to the Academy Awards & quite a few excessive profile occasions associated to the leisure business.” Photos of Palka present the then-captain hobnobbing with stars at Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremonies and on purple carpets. He was honored in 2019 as one of many Hollywood Chamber Community Foundation’s “Heroes of Hollywood.”

In November 2017, a lady informed police that she had been sexually assaulted by Moonves within the Eighties, earlier than he was employed by CBS in 1995, in accordance with the legal professional normal’s report. She additionally mentioned she was subjected to sexual misconduct and retaliation within the office.

Several hours after she made her police report — which was marked “confidential” in three locations — the captain tipped off CBS, it mentioned, including that the captain then met personally with Moonves and one other CBS govt. The captain, it mentioned, instructed the cops investigating the criticism to “admonish” the girl to not go to the media along with her allegations. He additionally put them in contact with the lead investigating officer.

When the allegations finally turned public anyway and Moonves resigned, the captain despatched a observe to a CBS contact saying, “We labored so onerous to attempt to keep away from this present day.”

The doc additionally mentioned he wrote a separate observe to Moonves saying, “I’m deeply sorry that this has occurred. I will all the time stand with, by and pledge my allegiance to you.”

The legal professional normal’s workplace mentioned it uncovered textual content messages between the police captain, CBS executives and Moonves that confirmed efforts to stop the criticism from turning into public.

The captain first made CBS officers conscious of the sexual misconduct allegation by calling the community’s senior vice chairman of expertise relations and particular occasions, who was recognized by the courtroom doc as Ian Metrose.

Metrose had beforehand employed the captain as one among Moonves’ safety aides on the Grammy Awards from 2008 to 2014, the doc states.

“I do know we have not talked shortly. I’m a captain at LAPD Hollywood,” the police captain informed Metrose in a voicemail message, in accordance with the legal professional normal’s workplace. “Somebody walked within the station a couple of couple hours in the past and made allegations towards your boss concerning a sexual assault. It’s confidential, as you recognize, however name me, and I can provide you a number of the particulars and allow you to know what the allegation is earlier than it goes to the media or will get out.”

An electronic mail despatched to Metrose was not instantly returned Wednesday. And an legal professional representing CBS and Moonves didn’t instantly return a request for remark.

The LAPD mentioned Wednesday it was conducting an investigation into the conduct of the captain and was cooperating with New York officers.

“What is most appalling is the alleged breach of belief of a sufferer of sexual assault, who’s among the many most susceptible, by a member of the LAPD. This erodes the general public belief and isn’t reflective of our values as a company,” Chief Michel Moore mentioned.

Palka’s LinkedIn profile says he commanded the company’s Hollywood Division from February 2016 to August 2019.

Video footage of Palka went viral in the course of the racial injustice protests in Los Angeles within the aftermath of George Floyd’s dying when he took a knee with protesters on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard.

Moonves’ resignation got here amid complaints from a number of ladies about alleged sexual misconduct. Some accusers claimed that Moonves had pressured them to carry out oral intercourse. The New Yorker had reported on the time that a minimum of one of many ladies, a tv govt, had filed a prison criticism with Los Angeles police.

Moonves acknowledged having relations with three of the ladies, however mentioned they had been consensual. He denied attacking anybody, saying in an announcement on the time that “Untrue allegations from many years in the past are actually being made towards me.”

The Los Angeles County district legal professional declined to file prison costs towards Moonves in 2018.

CBS can be required beneath the cope with the legal professional normal’s workplace to reform its human assets practices round sexual harassment.

The NY legal professional normal’s workplace recognized CBS’s senior govt vice chairman and chief communication officer, Gil Schwartz, as the manager who bought practically $8.9 million {dollars} in shares. Schwartz has since died.


Dazio reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press author Lynn Elber additionally contributed to this story from Los Angeles.


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