Time's Up Demands "Transparent" Investigation Into Leslie Moonves Claims

Leslie Moonves - Getty - H 2017
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Days after the embattled CBS chief was accused of sexual misconduct by six women, the organization is weighing in on the scandal.

Time's Up on Wednesday weighed in on the recent allegations of sexual misconduct made against CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. In a tweet, the women's fund — which was founded in January to combat abuse and gender inequality in the entertainment industry — demanded a "full, transparent and expedient" investigation into the claims.

"Six women have courageously shared their stories and accused CBS Les Moonves of sexual harassment and assault," the tweet read. "We believe you. We are with you. CBS, We are watching. We expect a full, transparent and expedient investigation. Now. #TIMESUP"

The allegations against Moonves were published Friday in a New Yorker article written by Ronan Farrow. Four of the six women who accused the exec of sexual harassment and intimidation claimed he forcibly touched or kissed them during business meetings. According to actress Illeana Douglas, one of the accusers, she was "fired for not participating" in Moonves' alleged behavior.

Moonves denied the allegations in a statement. "I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances," he said in part. "Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected — and abided by the principle — that 'no' means 'no,' and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career."

During Monday's episode of The Talk, co-host and Moonves' wife, Julie Chen, doubled down on her defense of her husband. "Some of you may be aware of what’s been going on in my life the past few days. I issued the one and only statement I will ever make on this topic on Twitter," she said at the start of the broadcast. "And I will stand by that statement today, tomorrow, forever."

Chen was referring to the tweet she sent Friday, in which she described Moonves — with whom she shares an 8-year-old son, Charlie — as a "devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader."

Later on Monday, CBS announced that no action was being taken against Moonves in the wake of the allegations. While he will remain at work, the media conglomerate said that it was hiring outside counsel to conduct an investigation, along with postponing an upcoming shareholder meeting.