ViacomCBS says investigation did not support allegation that CEO Bob Bakish inappropriately touched former employee

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ViacomCBS announced Thursday that it had concluded an investigation into an alleged incident involving CEO Bob Bakish prompted by a former employee’s allegation that he touched her inappropriately during a holiday party in 2016. 

The company’s board said in a statement that “An independent review of the alleged incident has concluded, and the investigation did not support the allegation.” The company added that it “takes any allegation of this type seriously.”

Bakish became CEO of Viacom in 2016 before it merged with the CBS Corporation. ViacomCBS is the parent company of CBS News.

According to The Information, which first reported the existence of the investigation, the allegation came from a female employee of Nickelodeon, a division of ViacomCBS. ViacomCBS immediately hired an outside firm to investigate the claims, according to sources cited by The Information.

The investigation comes two years after the former head of CBS Corporation, Les Moonves, was fired over allegations of sexual misconduct. Moonves’ departure came after multiple women came forward in The New Yorker with allegations of sexual misconduct. Moonves has denied the allegations. 

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