Illeana Douglas isn’t the only actress who claims to have been punished after rejecting sexual advances from former CBS CEO Les Moonves, who left the network in disgrace this fall after Douglas and others came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct.
In an interview for SiriusXM’s The Michelle Collins Show airing Thursday, actress Cybill Shepherd shared her own experiences working with Moonves when she filmed the CBS sitcom Cybill. The award-winning show aired from 1995 to 1998, but was canceled in what Shepherd now claims was a punishment for her refusal to go home with Moonves.
“His assistant and my assistant made a dinner date, and we went to it and he was … telling me his wife didn’t turn him on, some mistress didn’t turn him on,” she told Collins. “And I’m watching him drink alcohol and I’m going… He says, ‘Well, you know, why don’t you let me take you home?’ I said, ‘No, I’ve got a ride,’ and I had my car outside with a good friend of mine who is an off-duty LAPD officer.”
She told the SiriusXM host that “quite shortly afterward” she received critical notes from her CBS boss about her show.
“‘Don’t have Cybill talk while she’s eating,’” she remembers being instructed. “Then it was, OK, we had done one menopause episode, then we were going to do a second one. They said you can’t use menses, menstruation or period and I fought to say period.”
Shepherd believes that CBS ultimately pulled the plug on the show because she rejected Moonves. Had she accepted, she told Collins, “it would have run another five years.”
Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason has also accused Moonves of torpedoing her career, though her claims didn’t involve sexual harassment.
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