Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore has apologized to the family of a former television executive who accused former CBS executive Leslie Moonves of sexual misconduct.
The principal’s apology came after it was revealed that in 2017 the former LAPD captain shared information about Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb’s allegations with CBS executives, including Moonves.
The LAPD was rocked last fall amid allegations that former chief Cory Palka gave Moonves special treatment when he was in charge of the LAPD’s Hollywood division. Palka allegedly worked to cover up Golden-Gottlieb’s sexual assault report in 2017 and 2018, according to a report in November by New York Atty. Gen. Letitia James.
The revelations prompted Moore to open an internal review into the conduct of a former member of his department.
On Thursday, Moore and other LAPD officers met with the grown children and Golden-Gottlieb’s attorney, Gloria Allred.
“Chief Moore … updated them on the status of the investigation, and personally apologized to them for our former commanding officer’s breach of trust when he shared information about her mother’s crime report with CBS executives,” said LAPD Capt. Kelly Muniz. in a statement on Friday.
Jim Gottlieb and Cathy Weiss spoke fondly of their mother, who died last July, during a news conference Friday with Allred in his Los Angeles office. Weiss said she was thankful her mother wasn’t alive to see how the high-ranking LAPD officer handled her sexual assault complaint.
“She kept [the alleged sexual assault] secret for many years, out of fear, even though she was a staunch feminist,” Weiss said. “She was still afraid of reporting, which is kind of ironic… [because] years later, when she came forward, she was almost silent again.”
Weiss and her brother said they were satisfied with their meeting with Moore and other LAPD officers.
“We think they are taking this very seriously,” said Jim Gottlieb. “The general public, and in particular people who file sexual assault complaints, must have confidence that the police will treat them as victims in which they are without any hint of shame, or concern that their confidential report will be compromised no way.”
It wasn’t until the New York Attorney General’s report was published in November that Weiss and Gottlieb discovered the extent of the coordination between Palka, who has since retired, Moonves and others at CBS to bury her mother’s allegations.
In 2017, Golden-Gottlieb, then 81, accused Moonves of sexually assaulting her in the mid-1980s when they were colleagues at Lorimar Productions, the powerhouse television studio behind “Dallas” and ” Knots Landing”. On November 10, 2017, Golden-Gottlieb drove to the Hollywood station and filed a report. She checked a box on the form that indicated she wanted the information kept confidential, according to Allred.
“I was so proud when my mom told me she was going to report his behavior to the police,” Weiss said.
But over the next several months, an LAPD captain secretly gave Moonves and CBS executives status updates on the LAPD’s investigation into Golden-Gottlieb’s claims as well as her police report, which included personal details about her, the attorney general’s office said. CBS executives then “began to investigate the victim’s personal circumstances and those of her family,” the report said.
Los Angeles County prosecutors declined to bring charges in 2018 because the statute of limitations had expired.
Moonves, through a spokesman, declined to comment Friday. He has previously denied allegations of sexual misconduct.
Palka was not available for comment.
An internal LAPD investigation, which looks at “the entire administrative handling of the case,” is ongoing, Muniz said Friday. “Chief Moore discussed [with the Gottlieb family] the investigative steps taken and at this point we do not believe [Palka] able to influence the investigation.”
Allred said she requested the meeting with Moore on behalf of Golden-Gottlieb’s children.
The meeting gave the family an opportunity to “learn about [the department’s] a commitment to investigate and hold accountable those who may have violated LAPD laws or policies,” said Jim Gottlieb.
There are signs that the investigation is expanding.
“Los Angeles Police Department investigators are working with the United States Attorney General, the California Department of Justice, and the Los Angeles District Attorney on any open criminal investigations,” said Muniz, the police captain.
Golden-Gottlieb filed her complaint against Moonves when the #MeToo movement was reaching fever pitch. In 2018, Golden-Gottlieb shared her story with The Times.
Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.