Les Moonves has been accused of sexual misconduct by six women who shared their stories in an extensive New Yorker article, but not everyone believes the accusations. Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman on the TV series of the same name from 1975–79, tweeted her support of the CBS President and CEO: “Les Moonves is a close friend. I’ve known him for 40 years,” she wrote. “He is a kind, decent and honorable man. I believe him and I believe in him.”
Among Moonves’ accusers is actress Illeana Douglas, who claims that he forcibly kissed her and held her down during pre-production of a TV pilot in 1997; “it has stayed with me the rest of my life, that terror,” she told Ronan Farrow. “What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating,” Douglas added.
Carter isn’t the only one who’s come to Moonves’ defense, as Sharon Osbourne is also skeptical of the allegations (“interesting timing, seems like an attempt to discredit Leslie before a major court case. I hope people don’t rush to judgement,” she tweeted) and his wife Julie Chen wrote in a statement, “I fully support my husband and stand behind him and his statement.”
In response to Farrow’s article, Moonves released a statement of his own:
“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.”
CBS is investigating the claims against him.
Les Moonves is a close friend. I’ve known him for 40 years. He is a kind, decent and honorable man. I believe him and I believe in him.
— Lynda Carter (@RealLyndaCarter) July 28, 2018