CBS, LAPD, coverup reveals challenges for abuse victims

For 20 years, Leslie Moonves was the toast of Hollywood — the maestro who turned a moribund CBS into “America’s most-watched community.”

nonetheless the #MeToo movement launched him down. Engulfed in a sexual abuse scandal, the CBS chief was compelled out in September 2018, virtually a yr after Harvey Weinstein grew to become a pariah when dozens of women bought here forward with assault and rape allegations.

This week, ny Atty. Gen. Letitia James launched a report revealing the lengths to which Moonves and his lieutenants, attorneys and a extreme-stage l. a. Police division captain went to hold the chief in vitality. The group conspired for months to conceal damaging experiences of alleged sexual abuse that they knew would destroy his profession, in response to the report. Even a quantity of CBS board members, who have been aware of the abuse allegations, maintained assist for the tv titan.

“The police cowl-up, that was surprising,” mentioned Jim Gottlieb, the son of the accuser who went to the LAPD in 2017 to report a a long time-outdated sexual assault.

The revelations additionally surprised attorneys, victims’ advocates and observers, who mentioned it was emblematic of the immense challenges women nonetheless face as they search to stage the gender taking half in discipline and convey complaints of misconduct amid fierce resistance from extremely effective pursuits, akin to CBS and the LAPD.

“what’s so jarring about this case is how clearly it lays out how these extremely effective males colluded to cowl up a gender-primarily based crime,” mentioned Caroline Heldman, an Occidental faculty professor of important concept and social justice. “that is actually one of myriad the motive why survivors don’t come forward — all of us know that we’re not going to get a very good shake with legal guidelines enforcement.”

The scandal is at risk of extra debate regarding the effectiveness of the #MeToo movement 5 years after it grew to become a world phenomenon. There have been legislative victories, however additionally many setbacks. And hanging variations stay mirrored in opinions on gender equality. A Kantar Public and Reykjavik world discussion board report this yr found that sixty 4% of males inside the U.S. believed that women had achieved equality, whereas solely fifty 4% of women held that view.

The Moonves cowl-up started hours after Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, eighty one, walked into the LAPD’s Hollywood station Nov. 10, 2017, to report that Moonves had sexually assaulted her inside the Nineteen Eighties. That night, LAPD Capt. Cory Palka referred to as a CBS authorities to alert him to the existence of the report.

“somebody walked inside the station a pair of couple hours in the past and made allegations in direction of your boss regarding a sexual assault,” the police captain mentioned that night in a voicemail message left for Ian Metrose, then the senior vp of expertise relations at CBS, in response to the report.

“It’s confidential, as you understand, however name me,” Palka mentioned.

Palka quickly started working in tandem with Moonves, Metrose and fully different extreme-stage CBS executives. inside the approaching weeks, he and others on the LAPD made constructive the report was buried and that Moonves’ accuser, Golden-Gottlieb, stayed quiet, in response to the lawyer regular’s report.

“The LAPD Captain assured [CBS executives] that he had spoken to his contacts all by way of the LAPD and carried out controls to forestall information of the Police Report from leaking to the press,” the report mentioned.

Early on, the captain secretly supplied Moonves and CBS executives with a duplicate of the police report, which included private particulars about Golden-Gottlieb and her allegations, the report mentioned. (Golden-Gottlieb died in July.)

“it is surprising that a extreme-stage captain inside the LAPD decided to disclose a sufferer’s grievance, and chosen to assist a massive company on the expense of a woman who alleged to legal guidelines enforcement that she had been sexually assaulted,” mentioned lawyer Gloria Allred, who represented Golden-Gottlieb.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore this week expressed his dismay.

“what’s most appalling is the alleged breach of notion of a sufferer of sexual assault, who’s amongst the numerous most susceptible, by a member of the LAPD,” Moore mentioned. “This erodes the ultimate public notion and is not reflective of our values as a agency.”

5 days after Golden-Gottlieb filed her report, Palka — who was accountable for the division’s Hollywood Division — texted Metrose and Moonves’ private lawyer, saying he’d been in contact with the officer investigating the alleged assault.

Palka wrote that the investigator would “make contact & admonish the accuser tomorrow about refraining from going to the media and sustaining ‘her’ confidentiality” and “honoring the integrity of the investigation,” the report acknowledged.

“That captain had a refined understanding of how he needed to suppress the survivor,” Heldman mentioned. “His purpose was to make constructive that that fully different women didn’t come forward [knowing] that when one survivor goes public it might encourage others to return public.”

Palka has since retired from the division. He has not responded to a quantity of requests for remark. The LAPD mentioned it has launched an inner investigation to evaluation whether or not fully different officers have been involved.

Moonves, who this week declined to remark by way of a spokesman, has denied the allegations. Metrose declined to remark.

inside the mid-Nineteen Eighties, Golden-Gottlieb was a tv current enchancment authorities at Lorimar Productions, the Culver metropolis studio behind “Dallas” and “Knots touchdown.” Then, Moonves was an up-and-coming Lorimar authorities accountable for tv movement pictures, and he invited her to lunch.

Golden-Gottlieb recalled in a 2018 interview with The instances that, rather than driving to a restaurant, Moonves allegedly parked on a side avenue, forcibly grabbed her head and slammed it into his crotch, then ejaculated into her mouth.

Jim Gottlieb recalled his mom mustering the braveness to report the incident inside the early, electrical days of the #MeToo movement. She made the report a pair of month after the mannequin ny instances and the mannequin new Yorker first uncovered Weinstein’s alleged crimes.

Golden-Gottlieb had prolonged been haunted by her encounters with Moonves, her son mentioned.

“She instructed me for years about how badly Les Moonves had dealt with her, and that he had as quickly as thrown her up in direction of the wall,” Gottlieb mentioned Thursday. “each time she noticed him on the information, it grated on her.”

l. a. County prosecutors declined to carry expenses as a outcome of the statute of limitations had expired.

The lawyer regular’s report famous that when CBS executives acquired particulars about Golden-Gottlieb in 2017, they went to work “investigating the sufferer’s private circumstances and that of her household.”

CBS ran background checks on Golden-Gottlieb and her household. One textual content material message that circulated amongst CBS executives supplied Jim Gottlieb’s title, deal with and telephone quantity. CBS’ then-chief human sources officer, Anthony Ambrosio, wrote in a textual content material message: “should evaluation if neighborhood gives clues to want for $,” in response to the report.

“She wasn’t out to get money, or something,” Gottlieb mentioned, noting that his mom initially had been reluctant to communicate to investigative reporter Ronan Farrow, who was first to report the Moonves allegations, attributable to fears that the extremely effective Moonves would possibly sue her.

He additionally famous the Gottlieb household has prolonged questioned why the LAPD requested his aged mom to journey to a police station inside the San Fernando Valley to be interviewed by a detective barely than nearer to her Park La Brea residence.

“She initially went to the Hollywood Division to file her grievance in direction of Moonves; the case was assigned to a detective inside the Mission Hills Division, requiring her to drive all of the biggest methodology on the market for the interview,” Gottlieb mentioned, noting that his mom did a “adjust to drive” the day earlier than the interview to make constructive that the journey would go easily.

“Now i am questioning if this was a part of the try to cowl it up,” Gottlieb mentioned.

On Friday, LAPD Capt. Kelly Muniz mentioned the inside evaluation had simply been opened and it was “too early on this investigation” to debate the state of affairs or fully different particulars of Golden-Gottlieb’s interview.

A woman with blonde hair

Former tv authorities Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb talks in a 2018 interview about alleged abuse by ex-CBS boss Les Moonves.

(Brian van der Brug / l. a. instances)

CBS’ mum or dad agency, Paramount world, and Moonves earlier this week agreed to a $30.5-million settlement with James’ office to resolve legal guidelines violations in 2017 and 2018. Moonves will current $2.5 million of that quantity. About half of the money might even be paid to CBS shareholders who sued 4 years in the past, alleging CBS illegally hid delicate particulars regarding the magnitude of the sexual harassment factors.

buyers have prolonged maintained CBS ought to have disclosed its secrets and techniques as a outcome of Moonves was pivotal to the agency’s success. The scandal affected the agency’s inventory, with the lawyer regular’s report noting that CBS’ shares dropped 10% after the information of the Moonves assault allegations.

the mannequin ny lawyer regular started investigating the matter to search out out whether or not CBS’ actions had violated state enterprise legal guidelines.

inside the aftermath of James’ report, activists for survivors mentioned the scandal highlighted challenges dealing with the #MeToo movement.

“altering tradition is a monumental process,” activist Gretchen Carlson mentioned Friday. “This all comes again to vitality. usually the survivor simply isn’t holding the vitality — the a methodology the survivor holds the vitality is that in the event that they’ve a voice.”

Carlson, the earlier Fox information anchor who famously sued the community’s extremely effective head, Roger Ailes, paving the biggest methodology for his ouster, now advocates for women by way of her group, “elevate Our Voices.”

After #MeToo grew to become a world phenomenon, Time’s Up, the extreme-profile Hollywood group of women, final yr was flattened by experiences that key leaders sought to shield Andrew Cuomo, the earlier ny governor who was compelled to resign after an investigation by James’ office.

women proceed to wrestle for standing inside the office and accusers proceed to wrestle for his or her tales to be heard.

for event, the U.S. Senate in 2018 narrowly authorised then-President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme courtroom regardless of allegations that he’d sexually assaulted a feminine classmate years earlier than. Kavanaugh denied the claims.

“the worth of #MeToo is that it launched pretty a little bit of consideration to the extent of sexual violence and misconduct,” mentioned Scott Berkowitz, founder and president of RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence group. “It inspired extra people to return forward and impressed pretty a little bit of firms to increase the biggest methodology they deal with people making allegations and enhance the equity of investigations.”

The LAPD-CBS-Moonves cowl-up “is a irritating reminder that progress isn’t a straight line,” Berkowitz mentioned. “Clearly, we’re nowhere shut to fixing the draw again.”

Carlson mentioned legislative victories this yr have made her optimistic. In March, a invoice that she championed that bars compelled arbitration in sexual assault and harassment complaints was signed into legal guidelines by President Biden.

“It takes braveness to return forward in these circumstances,” Carlson mentioned. “It’s solely from reporting tales like this and exposing these circumstances that we proceed to make progress.”

instances workers author Richard Winton contributed to this report.


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