CBS announced this week that Les Moonves was fired with cause, which means that he won’t get $120 million in severance. Moonves can challenge the decision from CBS’s board of directors, and can also sue the company for breach of contract. The board’s decision is “far from over,” Moonves told Agenda, a corporate governance newsletter. According to the New York Times, a detail in Moonves’s contract means that CBS would have to foot the bill for Moonves’s extended legal battle with … CBS!
In Moonves’s termination deal, reached when he stepped down in September following allegations of sexual assault and harassment, he retained the right to indemnification, “including advancement or payments of Executive’s expenses (including his attorneys fees).” The company confirmed to the Times that they’ve been paying his legal bills at least since Monday, when he was officially fired with cause. Moonves’s legal fees could cost between $20 and $50 million, a law professor told the Times.