LAPD captain interfered in probe into allegations of Les Moonves

LAPD captain interfered in probe into allegations of Les Moonves attack; CBS Executive Involvement Also Revealed by NY Attorney General – Update – Deadline

UPDATED with details of CBS executives listed in the AG report: A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) captain has directly and repeatedly interfered in an open investigation into sexual assault allegations against former CBS CEO Moonves, New York Attorney General Letitia James said today, giving company executives confidential information when she tried to deal with the crisis.

The LAPD captain, who is not named in the AG statement, informed a CBS executive, Ian Metrose, the same day a complaint was filed against Moonves at the height of the #MeToo movement in Hollywood. Metrose, then SVP of Talent Relations and Special Events at CBS and still with the company as SVP of Special Events, shared it with others. The captain continued to provide updates and worked to prevent press leaks. The LAPD captain knew Metrose, who had hired him as Moonves’ safety advisor at the Grammy Awards from 2008 to 2014. When the allegations became public, the officer wrote: “We worked so hard to avoid this day. I am so infinitely sad.”

It is said the captain first left Metrose a voicemail, which said: “Someone came into the station about a few hours ago and made allegations against your boss of a sexual assault. It’s confidential as you know but give me a call and I can give you some details and let you know what the allegation is before it goes to the media or gets out.”

Metrose informed his line manager, the late CBS communications chief Gil Schwartz, and Schwartz’s boss Moonves of the news. According to the AG, Schwartz asked Metrose to request a copy of the police report. The LAPD captain sent Metrose the unredacted document in which he disclosed the complainant’s personal identification information. Metrose distributed the police report to CBS executives, including Moonves, Schwartz; and then-CBS chief security officer, who shared it with former hiring chief Anthony Ambrosio.

“Each of the executives then went to work to deal with the looming crisis,” says the AG report. Read it in full here.

CBS also authorized Schwartz to sell “millions of dollars” worth of CBS stock in the weeks leading up to the allegations, according to the report.

“These actions constituted insider trading and violated New York investor protection laws,” the AG said, announcing a $30.5 million cumulative settlement with the company and Moonves to settle its office’s investigation.

In a statement, the LAPD said it was “investigating the actions of a former commando officer.”

“The Los Angeles Police Department has recently come to the attention of the New York Attorney General conducting an investigation into the actions of a former department commander while serving as Captain of the Hollywood Division. We are fully cooperating with the Attorneys General of New York and California and have also launched an internal investigation into the retired executive officer’s conduct and identified all other members of the organization who may have been involved.”

“Most appalling is the alleged breach of trust by a member of the LAPD in a sexual assault victim who is among the most vulnerable. This undermines public trust and does not reflect our values ​​as an organization,” said CEO Michel Moore.

James said her office received a total of $30.5 million from CBS — now part of Paramount Global — and Moonves to complete an investigation into covering up allegations of sexual assault and insider trading. CBS will have to pay a total of $28 million, of which $22 million will go to shareholders.

The settlement included $6 million for CBS to reform its HR practices related to sexual harassment, including reporting and training, and provide semi-annual reports to OAG. This portion of the agreement was to be split into $2 million in payments over three years beginning in 2020 through 2022. Moonves must also obtain OAG’s written approval before accepting any executive or senior position with any public company operating in New York for five years.

Another chunk, Deadline reported earlier today, is $9.75 million from Paramount and Moonves, including $2.5 million from the former executive.

The total also includes a payment of $14.75 million — the amount of a settlement CBS reached earlier this year with plaintiffs in a federal shareholder class action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York. This pact is to be finalized at a hearing tomorrow. When payment is made, the amount will be credited to the AG invoice.

Moonves is also required to obtain written approval from OAG before accepting any officer or executive position with any public company doing business in New York for the next five years.

James said the investigation showed that “CBS and its senior leadership were aware of multiple allegations of sexual assault against Mr. Moonves and deliberately withheld those allegations from regulators, shareholders and the public for months.”

AG press release: “At the height of the #MeToo movement, CBS and Mr. Moonves became aware of multiple sexual assault allegations against Mr. Moonves and attempted to hide them from the public. The OAG investigation has uncovered new information about an LAPD captain’s direct and repeated interference in an open investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Mr. Moonves. On the same day that an individual filed a confidential sexual assault complaint against Mr. Moonves at an LAPD station in Hollywood, an LAPD captain notified a CBS executive of the confidential complaint. The LAPD captain shared an unedited police report with the executive, who shared it with Mr. Moonves and other executives at CBS. Each of the executives then went to work to deal with the looming crisis. Mr. Moonves and the CBS executive asked the LAPD captain about the applicant’s motives and her next course of action. In text messages received by OAG, Mr. Moonves said: “Hopefully we can kill media from PD. Then figure [sic] What [Complainant #1] want.”

For several months, the LAPD Captain continued to covertly provide status updates on the LAPD’s investigation to Mr. Moonves and CBS executives. The LAPD captain made it clear that he was prepared to intervene on behalf of Mr. Moonves, and Mr. Moonves asked for his assistance. He assured CBS executives that he had spoken to his contacts within the LAPD and conducted checks to prevent news of the LAPD police report from leaking to the press. He added: “Although it’s not 100% confidential as we have to bring that [district attorney] into the picture, I think CBS should be feeling better than last week at this point. The key is that NO other accusers come forward.”

Mr. Moonves and the CBS board of directors met personally with the LAPD captain and discussed the investigation. When the allegations finally became public and Mr. Moonves resigned from CBS, the LAPD captain texted the executive branch saying, “We’ve worked so hard to try to avoid that day.” I am so infinitely sad.”

CBS and Mr. Moonves were aware of the allegations against Mr. Moonves and made fraudulent statements to the public and regulators months before the allegations hit the news. At a public event, Mr Moonves misleadingly said he knew nothing about workplace harassment, while privately trying to meddle with the Los Angeles investigation and working to quash another allegation uncovered by a reporter. In its annual filing with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), CBS indicated under “Risk Factors” that its business “depends on the continued efforts, skill and expertise of its chief executive officer and other key employees,” without disclosing that Mr. Moonve’s job at CBS was in jeopardy after allegations of sexual assault.

When CBS tried to hide these allegations, the company authorized its former chief communications officer, Gil Schwartz, who was one of the few people with information about the allegations and the LAPD police report, to sell his stock. Six weeks before the first article about the allegations was published, Mr. Schwartz sold 160,709 CBS shares at a weighted average price of $55.08 for a total of $8,851,852. The stock fell 10.9% from the day before the news broke through the trading day after.

Mr. Moonves’ actions as CEO of CBS, along with the actions of other officers, constituted persistent and illegal conduct and violated New York’s Martin Act and other investor protection statutes.”