Report: CBS Footing Bill for Ex-CEO Les Moonves' Legal Fees

CBS has reportedly been paying former chief executive Les Moonves’ legal bills, and will continue to do so if Moonves decides to challenge the board’s decision to deny him his $120 million severance package. According to The New York Times, Moonves’ termination agreement states that he retains all rights for CBS to cover his financial losses—including “advancement or payments of Executive’s expenses (including his attorneys fees).” Moonves also reportedly said in a Tuesday interview with a corporate governance newsletter that the issue was “far from over,” and he has yet to decide whether to seek a settlement through arbitration. If Moonves decides to pursue arbitration, experts told the Times he could “easily run up $20 million in fees” and perhaps even more. Since CBS would have to pay its own legal fees along with Moonves’ in this case, the newspaper reports it would likely be “cheaper” for the company “to simply settle” with its ousted former head. Dana McClintock, a CBS spokesman, confirmed to the Times that CBS did pay “Moonves’s legal fees and related costs at least until Monday, when he was fired for cause.”