In 2017 during the early stages of the #MeToo movement, then-81-year-old Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb filed a confidential report with the Los Angeles Police Department. The complaint detailed multiple instances of sexual assault by former CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves decades earlier.
The confidential report was leaked to Moonves by then LAPD commander Cory Palka, known to fellow officers as “Captain Hollywood.” Palka was part of Moonves’ Grammy Awards security detail for several years and shared the information to protect the CBS chief. Nearly six years later, the LAPD still hasn’t taken responsibility for Palka’s actions.
Golden-Gottlieb’s children receive an apology
Moonves denied Golden-Gottlieb’s accusations, and Los Angeles County prosecutors refused to file charges, saying the statute of limitations had expired. The complaint was one of several against Moonves, who resigned in 2018. Last year, the New York attorney general announced a $30.5 million settlement was reached with Moonves and CBS over concealing sexual assault allegations against the former CEO and related misconduct to protect Moonves and CBS stock prices.
During a Jan. 20 news conference attended by Golden-Gottlieb’s children, attorney Gloria Allred of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg said that the LAPD failed to address its own misconduct for colluding with Moonves. Golden-Gottlieb died last year, and Allred says her children received an official apology from LAPD Chief Michel Moore during a Jan. 19 meeting. Moore says the department takes the matter “very seriously” and seemed supportive of ordering a formal investigation.
Golden-Gottlieb suffered in silence
Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb was a rising star in television and began producing quality public affairs programming for KTTV in Los Angeles in the 1970s before landing executive roles at NBC, Disney, MGM and Lorimar-Telepictures, where she headed comedy development. She said Moonves first assaulted her in 1986. While she told some people close to her about the incident, she didn’t report it to human resources for fear of retaliation.
Two years later, she says Moonves, who had been promoted to a more senior role at CBS, attacked her again. This time she got away, but Moonves exacted revenge by moving her to smaller offices in remote locations until she was forced to leave Lorimar. Golden-Gottlieb says after that, she couldn’t find similar work in Hollywood and had to become a substitute teacher in Los Angeles public schools to survive. She told the New Yorker that Moonves ruined her career.