LAPD Captain Interfered With Les Moonves Probe, Says NY Attorney General – Deadline

LAPD Captain Interfered With Les Moonves Probe, Says NY Attorney General – Deadline

UPDATED with details of CBS executives noted in AG report: A captain at the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) directly and repeatedly interfered with an open investigation into allegations of sexual assault against former CBS CEO Moonves, New York Attorney General Letitia James said today, providing confidential information to executives at the company as they attempted to manage the crisis.

The LAPD captain, who is not named in the AG’s statement, informed a CBS executive, Ian Metrose, the same day a complaint was filed against Moonves in Hollywood at the height of the #MeToo movement. Metrose, SVP of Talent Relations and Special Events at CBS at the time 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 to serve as Moonves’ security aide at the Grammy Awards from 2008 to 2014. When the allegations became public, the officer texted: We worked so hard to try to avoid this day. I am so completely sad.”

He says the captain first left Metrose a voicemail saying, “Somebody walked in the station about a couple hours ago and made allegations against your boss regarding a sexual assault. It’s confidential, as you know, but call me, and I can give you some of the details and let you know what the allegation is before it goes to the media or gets out.”

Metrose alerted his direct supervisor, CBS late communications chief Gil Schwartz, and Schwartz’s boss, Moonves, of the message. Schwartz told Metrose to request a copy of the police report, according to the AG. The LAPD captain sent Metrose the unredacted document, disclosing the complainant’s personal identifying information. Metrose circulated the police report to CBS’ senior executives including Moonves, Schwartz; and CBS’ then chief security officer, who shared it with former HR chief Anthony Ambrosio.

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

CBS also authorized Schwartz, according to the report, to sell “millions of dollars” of CBS stock in the weeks before the allegations became public.

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

In a statement, the LAPD said it’s “investigating the actions of a former command officer.”

“It has recently come to the attention of the Los Angeles Police Department that the New York Attorney General is conducting an investigation involving the actions of a former command officer of the Department while assigned as a Captain to Hollywood Division. We are fully cooperating with the New York and California Attorney General offices and have also initiated an internal investigation regarding the conduct of the retired command officer as well as to identify any other member(s) of the organization that may have been involved.”

“What is most appalling is the alleged breach of trust of a victim of sexual assault, who is among the most vulnerable, by a member of the LAPD. This erodes the public trust and is not reflective of our values ​​as an organization,” said chief Michel Moore.

James said his office has secured a total of $30.5 million from CBS — now part of Paramount Global — and from Moonves to resolve an investigation over concealing sexual assault allegations and insider trading. CBS is required to pay a total of $28 million, $22 million of which will go to shareholders.

The settlement included $6 million for CBS to reform its HR practices around sexual harassment, including reporting and training, and to provide biannual reports to OAG. That portion of the agreement, from 2020, was to be split in $2 million payments over three years through 2022. Moonves must also obtain written approval from OAG before accepting an executive or officer position at a public company doing business in New York for five years .

Another chunk, as 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 $14.75 million payment — the amount of a CBS settlement reached earlier this year with plaintiffs in a federal shareholder class action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York. That pact is set to be finalized at a hearing tomorrow. If paid, the amount would be credited towards the AG settlement.

Moonves must also obtain written approval from OAG before accepting an executive or officer position at a public company doing business in New York for the next five years.

James said the investigation showed that “CBS and its senior leadership knew about multiple allegations of sexual assault made against Mr. Moonves and intentionally concealed those allegations from regulators, shareholders, and the public for months.”

AG press statement: “At the height of the #MeToo movement, CBS and Mr. Moonves became aware of several sexual assault allegations against Mr. Moonves and tried to conceal them from the public. The OAG investigation revealed new information about an LAPD captain’s direct and repeated interference with an open investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Mr. Moonves. The same day an individual filed a confidential criminal sexual assault complaint against Mr. Moonves at an LAPD station in Hollywood, an LAPD captain informed a CBS executive of the confidential complaint. The LAPD captain shared an unredacted 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 impending crisis. Mr. Moonves and the CBS executive asked the LAPD captain about the complainant’s motivations and her next course of action. In text messages obtained by OAG, Mr. Moonves said, “Hopefully we can kill media from PD. Then figure [sic] what [Complainant #1] wants.”

Over the course of several months, the LAPD captain continued to secretly provide Mr. Moonves and CBS executives with status updates on the LAPD’s investigation. The LAPD captain made it clear that he was willing to intervene on Mr. Moonves’ behalf and Mr. Moonves solicited his assistance. He assured CBS executives that he had spoken to his contacts within the LAPD and implemented controls to prevent news of the police report from leaking to the press from the LAPD. He added that “although it’s not 100% Confidential as we have to bring the [district attorney] into the picture, I think at this point CBS should feel better than they did last week. The key is that NO other accusers come forward.”

Mr. Moonves and the CBS executive met with the LAPD captain in person and discussed the investigation. When the allegations finally became public and Mr. Moonves resigned from CBS, the LAPD captain sent a text to the executive saying, “We worked so hard to try to avoid this day. I am so completely sad.”

While aware of the allegations against Mr. Moonves, CBS and Mr. Moonves made deceiving statements to the public and regulators months before the allegations were in the news. At a public event, Mr. Moonves misleadingly said he did not know of workplace harassment issues, while privately trying to interfere in the Los Angeles investigation and working to suppress another allegation uncovered by a reporter. In its annual filing with Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), under “risk factors” CBS stated that its business “depends upon the continued efforts, abilities, and expertise of its chief executive officer and other key employees” without disclosing that Mr. Moonves’ tenure at CBS was in jeopardy because he was accused of sexual assault.

HASs 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 shares. Six weeks before the first article about the allegations became public, Mr. Schwartz sold 160,709 shares of CBS stock at an average weighted price of $55.08 for a total of $8,851,852. The stock dropped 10.9% from the day before the news broke to the trading day after.

Mr. Moonves’ actions as the CEO of CBS, together with actions by other senior executives, constituted persistent and illegal conduct and violated New York’s Martin Act and other investor protection laws.”

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