Lawyers Say CBS Has Cause to Withhold $120M From Moonves: Report

A draft report by hired investigators found that former CEO Leslie Moonves destroyed evidence and lied to investigators, according to The New York Times

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Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

Lawyers hired by CBS to investigate the conduct of Leslie Moonves, the former CBS chief executive who left the company after he was accused of sexual misconduct, are preparing to tell the company that it has reason to deny the former executive $120 million in severance payments, according to a report from The New York Times. 

The Times said that it had acquired a draft report that found Moonves had destroyed evidence and lied to investigators, providing the company with cause to deny Moonves the payments that were part of his employment contract, NBC News reported

“Based on the facts developed to date, we believe that the board would have multiple bases upon which to conclude that the company was entitled to terminate Moonves for cause,” the report states, according to the Times.

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In a statement provided to NBC News on Tuesday night, outside investigators hired by the board said, "No findings have been reported to the Board. The Board has reached no conclusions on this matter. The investigators and the Board are committed to a thorough and fair process. No draft of the investigators’ ongoing work product has been shared with the Board or the Company. Our work is still in progress and there are bound to be many facts and assessments that evolve and change as the work is completed."

Moonves' lawyer couldn’t immediately be reached by NBC News. A spokesman for CBS declined comment.

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