Illeana Douglas recalls Les Moonves 'putting his tongue down my throat' in first TV interview about alleged sexual misconduct

Actress and writer Illeana Douglas stopped by The View on Tuesday and gave her first televised interview about her allegations of sexual assault against Les Moonves.

In August, Douglas was among the accusers quoted in the New Yorker’s bombshell article about the former CBS CEO’s alleged sexual misconduct.

In the article, she says of an encounter with Moonves in 1997, “What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating.”

That alleged incident took place during what was supposed to be a normal business meeting, she says, but it quickly went in a different direction. “He started asking me a lot of personal questions,” Douglas said on The View. “That of course led to him jumping on top of me and putting his tongue down my throat, pinning me down on the couch.”

In a CBS statement to the New Yorker, Moonves acknowledged trying to kiss Douglas but denied “any characterization of ‘sexual assault,’ intimidation, or retaliatory action.”

In 1997, Moonves was president of CBS Entertainment. The network initially cast Douglas in a comedy called Queens. Regarding her views at the time about Moonves, she said, “I respected him. I thought of him as a father figure.”

Douglas said that immediately after the alleged attack, while she was crying in her car in the parking lot, she got a call from her manager asking how the meeting went. “I said, ‘Why?’” Douglas said. “And [my manager] said, ‘Because Les just called me. … He said you guys had a lot of fun.’”

After that meeting, Douglas was fired from Queens due to “poor performance,” according to CBS.

But during her Tuesday appearance on The View, she explained how she interpreted the firing and opened up about how that meeting may have affected her Queens performance. “Did I maybe look like I was traumatized and not landing my jokes correctly on the show?” she said. “Maybe.”

She added, “I think what he’s referring to is my poor performance when we were alone together in his office.”

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