×

Leslie Moonves Accused of Destroying Evidence in Shari Redstone Legal Fight

Embattled CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves has been accused of destroying evidence relevant to his legal battle with the company’s controlling shareholder, the Shari Redstone-led National Amusements.

According to an emergency filing Tuesday in a Delaware court, Moonves and other CBS execs, including COO Joe Ianniello, used a self-erasing messaging app. National Amusements lawyers claims that use of the app, TigerText, amounts to the “systematic deletion” of internal communications and documents relevant to the legal fight.

“The NAI Parties have been irreparably injured by the systematic deletion of highly relevant documents by key CBS senior executives over a two year period and face the imminent threat of additional harm unless the expedited relief is granted,” NAI lawyers wrote in the filing.

A CBS spokesperson on Tuesday defended the use of TigerText, saying in a statement, “Tiger Text was implemented by CBS’s Information Security Group for cybersecurity reasons following the Sony hack, and was not developed or used for any nefarious or sinister communications as some have alleged.”

CBS in May filed a lawsuit and requestion for a temporary restraining order to bar National Amusements from using its voting power in CBS to make changes to the company’s bylaws or board members. With Redstone publicly pushing to merge CBS and struggling Viacom, the possibility of Redstone installing new board members to CBS’ 14-member panel has loomed — creating a situation where Redstone could force a merger and push Moonves out. Moonves has fought against a reunion with Viacom, from which CBS was spun off more than a decade ago.

That conflict was heavily complicated last week by the publication in the New Yorker of detailed allegations against Moonves of sexual misconduct. The CBS board on Tuesday voted to take no action against Moonves in response to the allegations.

Also Tuesday, NBC News reported that the Los Angeles District Attorney has declined to pursdue sexual-abuse charges against Moonves. According to the report, an unnamed woman told Los Angeles police that Moonves abused her in the 1980s. Prosecutors have declined to pursue the case because the statute of limitations has expired.

More TV

  • Jason Katims Writers Office

    Jason Katims Sets Apple Overall Deal

    Jason Katims is departing his longtime home at Universal TV for a new overall deal at Apple, Variety has confirmed. Katims’ previous credits include “Parenthood” and “Friday Night Lights.” More to come…

  • Homecoming Amazon Studios

    Julia Roberts Will Not Return for 'Homecoming' Season 2

    Julia Roberts will not be starring in “Homecoming” Season 2 at Amazon, Variety has confirmed. The Oscar-winning actress will remain on the show as an executive producer, however. “Homecoming” was picked up for two seasons when it was initially ordered at Amazon, but Roberts only had a one-year deal to star on the show, according to [...]

  • ‘Metro Exodus’ Opens Up Post-Apocalyptic Russia

    ‘Metro Exodus’ Author On Film, Possible TV Series, Expansive New Game

    Since the launch of the post-apocalyptic survival first-person shooter “Metro 2033” in 2010, the series has kept its action confined to the tunnels running underneath Russia. “Metro Exodus,” due out next month, takes the gameplay to the surface for the first time, going above ground with sprawling levels against a changing backdrop of weather conditions [...]

  • Mr. Peanut to Appear in His

    Mr. Peanut to Appear in His First Super Bowl Commercial

    The monocle-wearing Mr. Peanut is about to offer snack fans an entirely new lens on Super Bowl advertising. Planters, which has featured the anthropomorphic legume for more than a century as its spokes-character, will place him in a 30-second ad slated to appear in the second quarter of CBS’ broadcast of Super Bowl LIII on [...]

  • DRG Boards Sales on Scandi Sci-Fi

    DRG Boards Sales on Scandi Sci-Fi Mystery Series ‘The White Wall’

    Scandinavian sci-fi series “The White Wall” is coming to the international market, starting at NATPE, after DRG picked up international rights to the upcoming project. Finland’s Fire Monkey and Nice Drama, part of the Nordic Entertainment Group, are making “The White Wall” for Swedish pubcaster SVT and its Finnish counterpart, YLE. It will feature a [...]

  • L.A. Teachers' Strike: Hollywood Studios, Unions

    Hollywood Studios, Unions Support Parents and Educators as L.A. Teachers' Strike Rages

    Hollywood unions and entertainment companies have stepped up to support the 31,000 Los Angeles teachers in the second day of a massive strike that’s affected nearly half a million students. More than 50 SAG-AFTRA members picketed at a Tuesday afternoon rally in the driving rain next to the Hollywood & Highland Center with secretary-treasurer Jane [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content