CBS was forced to pay actress Bobbie Phillips millions of dollars in a legal settlement after allegations of sexual harassment she made against disgraced former executive Les Moonves were leaked to the New York Times, according to a report.
The deal came after CBS hired two law firms, Debevoise & Plimpton and Covington & Burling, to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct made by various women on the network against Moonves, Vanity Fair reported.
A preliminary investigation report and a host of other details about the internal investigation, including Phillips’s allegation that Moonves forced her to perform oral sex on him in a 1995 meeting, was later leaked to the Times in 2018.
As a result, CBS and Covington were forced to pay Phillips millions of dollars because they violated their confidentiality agreement by allowing information to leak to the newspaper, according to Vanity Fair.
“Debevoise is not party to any agreement with either party in connection with its work for CBS,” said a spokesman for Debevoise & Plimpton.
The deal was rumored to be in the tens of millions and was signed in the fall of 2019, according to the report.
Moonves, the former CEO of the broadcasting giant, was forced to resign in 2018 after New York journalist Ronan Farrow published an explosive article detailing allegations of sexual harassment leveled against him.
In the 1995 meeting with Phillips, Moonves allegedly dropped his pants in front of her and said, “Look how hard you make me,” according to the 2018 Times report.
“Be my girlfriend and I’ll put you on any show,” added the actress, who has appeared on shows like “Boy Meets World,” “The X-Files,” and “Baywatch.”
Moonves then grabbed her by the neck and forced her to perform oral sex on him, according to the report.
She was able to free herself by grabbing a baseball bat after he was interrupted by a phone call, which he said was to an “ER” casting director.
Moonves later told Phillips’ former Hollywood agent Marv Dauer, “If Bobbie talks, I’m done,” the Times reported.
Dauer told Vanity Fair that he knew she settled on the leak of the investigation because she “felt that her confidentiality had been violated as a result of the leak.”