Longtime TV star Cybill Shepherd has claimed that her CBS sitcom was canceled after she refused the sexual advances of Les Moonves, the former CEO of the network who stepped down from his position after a dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct.
Shepherd’s sitcom, Cybill, ran from 1995 to 1998 before being canceled. During an appearance on SiriusXM’s The Michelle Collins Show, Shepherd alleged that the cancellation came in retaliation for rejecting 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 said. “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.”
Not long afterward, Shepherd continued, she began to receive critical feedback on the show; she was instructed, for instance, to have her character refrain from talking while eating. The sitcom was ultimately given the ax, but Shepherd maintained it would have gone on for “another five years” had it not been for the incident with Moonves.
Other women have alleged that Moonves deliberately sabotaged their careers. For instance Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, who worked with Moonves at the film and TV production company Lorimar, said that the executive exposed himself to her in his office, prompting her to run away. The next day, Golden-Gottlieb alleged, he berated her for not sharing a memo and “threw” her against a wall. He then proceeded to move her to successively smaller offices.
“He absolutely ruined my career,” she told The New Yorker in September. Moonves will not receive the $120 million dollar dismissal payout he was expecting after all after CBS determined he has been fired for cause. It’s been reported that he’ll take legal action in response, but for now, as one Twitter comedian observed, his package has been severed.
Below, listen to Shepherd’s full interview with Collins.
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