The American television giant CBS announced the immediate departure of general manager Leslie Moonves, after a series of growing accusations of sexual misconduct.
One of the biggest scalps in the #MeToo era, Moonves orchestrated CBS's resurgence in a grading winner, and was respected as a Hollywood executive until he was accused of inappropriate behavior dating back decades.
The magazine The New Yorker published two articles in July last year, which detailed the allegations of 12 different women against the 68-year-old television titan.
Just a few hours later, CBS announced that Moonves would leave "immediately" and that he and the network would donate $ 20 million to support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace.
"The donation, which will be made immediately, has been deducted from the compensation benefits that may be owed to Moonves," said a CBS spokesman.
"Moonves will not receive any compensation benefits at this time (apart from certain compensations and benefits fully accrued and acquired), any future payments will depend on the results of the independent investigation and the subsequent evaluation of the board."
The US press reports that their severance pay could range between $ 100 million in shares and $ 180 million stipulated in their contract, or even that they could leave without any bonus, pending the results of the investigation.
His interim replacement will be Chief Operating Officer Joseph Ianniello, while the board seeks a permanent successor.
Investigations into allegations from outside law firms are ongoing.
Prosecutor Jessica Pallingston told Pulitzer-winning journalist Ronan Farrow, who broke the accusations against Moonves in The New Yorker, that such a reward would be "completely disgusting."
– A lot of claims –
Farrow's follow-up article on Sunday contained allegations by six other women, who said Moonves harassed them or assaulted them between 1980 and the early 2000s.
Farrow, whose reports on Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein helped ignite the #MeToo movement, cites them by saying that Moonves forced them, sometimes violently, to have oral sex with him, or that he exposed himself to them.
The company also announced that it had put an end to a lawsuit that pitted network bosses against the Redstone family, whose members control an 80% stake with the right to vote on CBS.
The Redstones sued CBS, saying the network had tried to dilute its voting rights to 20 percent.
Moonves joined CBS in 1995 from Warner Bros. Television, where his team developed successful programs such as "Friends" and "ER."
He was promoted to president and CEO of CBS Television in 1998, and became president in 2003. A one-time actor, his wife is the host of "Big Brother" on CBS.