According to Investigators, CBS Has Been Paying an Alleged Assault Victim Millions in Hush Money

Jordan Crucchiola
Vulture

With former CEO Les Moonves and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager both out at CBS after allegations of misconduct, the investigation into a culture of abuse at the network is still digging up evidence on more bad actors. According to The New York Times, a draft of a report that will be presented to the company’s board outlines millions of dollars in hush money payments made to a woman who accused the late Don Hewitt, Fager’s predecessor, of sexual assault. A settlement was agreed upon in the 1990s over the alleged years-long pattern of assault endured by an unnamed woman at the hands of Hewitt, and as the Times reports, “CBS determined more than 20 years ago that her allegations were credible, and agreed to pay her a $450,000 settlement.” The paper added, “Since then, CBS has renegotiated six amendments to her agreement, each time agreeing to pay additional money in exchange for her silence. The settlement has exceeded $5 million in total, plus annual payments of $75,000 for the rest of her life, according to the report.” The woman’s career is said to have been “derailed” by the repeated incidents.

Additionally, Fager’s termination has been deemed justified by investigators, in part because of a threatening message he sent to a reporter that he then lied about. According to the draft report, the lawyers digging through the muck at CBS “believe that the board would have multiple bases” to say Moonves was fired for cause, thereby allowing the company to withhold the fallen CEO’s $120 million severance package. On top of all that, “investigators found that Mr. Fager had failed to respond appropriately to accusations of bullying against Michael Radutzky, a former senior producer on 60 Minutes, and harassment against Ira Rosen, currently a producer on the show.” The network’s board will receive the complete report from investigators next week.

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