Les Moonves, Former Head of CBS, Fined Over Involvement With Hollywood’s Former Top Cop

It’s been a while since former CBS chairman and CEO and so-called “#MeToo Horror Show” Les Moonves was in the news, but his name was back in the headlines late Friday. This time, it’s because he’s agreed to pay an $11,250 fine to the city of Los Angeles, over his relationship with a retired cop with Scientology ties.

Moonves, who led CBS from 2003 to 2018, was the subject of an August, 2018 expose that revealed multiple claims of sexual harassment and assault. Other women came forward after its publication, to share additional stories, and an internal investigation by the network appeared to confirm many of those allegations, and brought up new claims. Investigators wrote then that Moonves “engaged in multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct in and outside of the workplace, both before and after he came to CBS in 1995.” Moonves has repeatedly denied all the allegations against him.

Richard Branson is flanked by former Los Angeles city councilman Tom LaBonge (L) and Los Angeles Police Department Hollywood Division Commanding Officer Cory Palka at the unveiling of Branson’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star ceremony, October 16, 2018.

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In 2022, the New York attorney general’s office released its own report on the allegations against Moonves, including the bombshell claim that a captain with the Los Angeles Police Department worked with CBS to cover up accusations made against Moonves in the years prior to the expose. While the report didn’t name the police officer in question, the LAPD did, telling the LA Times that the allegedly colluding cop was retired commander Cory Palka, who had been captain of the Hollywood station at the time of the report.

“Somebody walked in the station about a couple hours ago and made allegations against your boss regarding a sexual assault,” Palka said in a November 10, 2017, voicemail message left for a CBS executive, the New York AG’s report read. “It’s confidential, as you know, but call me.”

A subsequent investigation by the LA Times exposed even more details about Palka, including a revelation that the former LAPD captain sent Moonves a note that read “I will always stand with, by and pledge my allegiance to you” as news of the allegations against him spread.

Palka, who had developed a relationship with Moonves after working as his security detail for the Grammy Awards, “secretly provided Moonves and CBS executives with status updates on the LAPD’s investigation as well as personal details about the alleged accuser” and “slipped CBS a copy of the accuser’s report,” the LA Times reported. That information allowed CBS to begin “investigating the victim’s personal circumstances and that of her family,” the New York AG’s report read.

The news prompted actress Leah Remini to come forward with her own concerns about Palka, sharing a photo of him with a presentation check from the Church of Scientology. Remini, a longtime critic of the church, asked, “What investigative information has he provided to Scientology over the years?” 

“Cory was in charge of the division where I filed my missing person’s report into the disappearance of Shelly Miscavige,” Remini wrote, referring to the alleged disappearance of the wife of Scientology head David Miscavige. “In 2013, after I left Scientology, I filed a missing person’s report with the LAPD on Shelly. By the time I filed the report, it had been nearly eight years since I had seen or heard from Shelly,” Remini wrote. “Hours after I filed the missing person’s report, the case was closed, and the LAPD announced to the press that they had found Shelly,” she said. “When I asked if detectives had spoken to or had seen Shelly themselves, I was told that was ‘classified’ by the LAPD.”

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