CBS has been forced to pay actress Bobbie Phillips millions of dollars in a legal settlement after sexual harassment claims she made against disgraced ex-executive Les Moonves were leaked to the New York Times, a report said Wednesday.
The settlement was reached after CBS hired two law firms — Debevoise & Plimpton and Covington & Burling — to investigate sexual misconduct allegations made by several women at the network against Moonves, Vanity Fair reported.
A draft report of the investigation and a number of other details about the internal probe — including Phillips’ allegation that Moonves forced her to perform oral sex on him in a 1995 meeting — then leaked to the Times in 2018.
As a result, CBS and Covington were forced to pay Phillips millions of dollars because they breached her confidentiality agreement by letting the information leak to the newspaper, according to Vanity Fair.
“Debevoise is not party to any agreements with any parties concerning its work for CBS,” a Debevoise & Plimpton spokesperson said.
The settlement was “rumored to be in the tens of millions” and inked in the fall of 2019, the report said.
Moonves, the former CEO of the the broadcasting giant, was forced to step down in 2018 after New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow published an explosive article detailing sexual harassment allegations leveled against him.
In the 1995 encounter with Phillips, Moonves allegedly dropped his pants in front of her and said, “look how hard you make me,” according to the Times report in 2018.
“Be my girlfriend and I’ll put you on any show,” he added to the actress, who has appeared in shows such as “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 break free by grabbing a baseball bat after he was interrupted by a phone call, which he said was with an “E.R.” casting director.
Moonves later said to Phillips’ longtime Hollywood agent, Marv Dauer, “if Bobbie talks, I’m finished,” the Times reported.
Dauer told Vanity Fair that he was aware she reached a settlement over the leak of the investigation because she “felt her confidentiality had been violated as a result of the leak.”