Bobbie Phillips is an actress and entrepreneur based in Ontario, Canada.
In a New York Times expose released on Nov. 28, Phillips leveled an accusation of sexual assault against Moonves, and the NYT further claimed that Moonves had taken steps to keep Phillips quiet in the wake of the various claims made against him in the last year.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Phillips & Moonves First Met in 1995 at a Warner Bros. Studio
According to The New York Times, Phillips and Moonves met in 1995 under the premise of a business meeting about potential roles for Phillips. When Phillips and Moonves were alone in a studio, Moonves reportedly showed her his erect penis and said, “Look how hard you make me,” before adding, “Be my girlfriend and I’ll put you on any show.”
Moonves then forced her to perform oral sex on him. He since gave a statement to the NYT that claims his sexual interaction with Phillips was entirely consensual. Phillips contradicted that claim, though, saying, “I felt my blood rushing in my body. I was vibrating. I can still feel it. All I could think was that I wanted to use the baseball bat to knock his head off. ”
Immediately following that meeting, Phillips told her manager, Marv Dauer, that she never wanted to see him again. Dauer said to The New York Times, I didn’t want to push her, but she told me he violated her. He must have done something awful.”
Phillips remained uncomfortable around Moonves for the rest of her career, and even threw up outside a theatre because she thought she might see him. The New York Times notes that she subsequently landed “minor roles,” but that her career never took off following that interview.
2. Moonves Is Recorded as Talking About Giving Phillips an Acting Role to Keep Her Silent in the Wake of the #MeToo Allegations Against Him
Decades after their interaction, Moonves and Phillips’ manager had a phone conversation in Nov. 2017 following the exposes against Moonves. They discussed providing Phillips with an acting role.
According to Dauer’s sworn statement to The New York Times, Moonves said, “I think I’ll be O.K. But if Bobbie talks, I’m done.”
Moonves and Dauer then exchanged a series of text messages over the years regarding Phillips’ silence. Via The New York Times, here are some of the text messages Dauer sent Moonves, many of which make it clear to Moonves what Dauer is risking in exchange for their continued alliance:
Dec. 13: “NY Times just called again. Obviously I did not answer the phone.” Mr. Moonves replied: “Thanks. Praying.”
Dec. 14: “There’s going to be a way to beat these bastards,” Mr. Dauer wrote. “Even I’m not sleeping too well.”
Dec. 18: “Just got a voicemail from The NY Times. Same lady. I wonder when they will realize I’m not speaking to them.”
In response Moonves texted at one point, “I feel very bad about the whole thing. I feel sick all the time.”
At several points, Dauer also pointed out to Moonves his own financial strains, saying at one point that Phillips was “doing better” than he was. When Moonves found out that The New Yorker was about to release an article about the sexual assault allegations, he reportedly called Dauer and said, “[she] has got to take this job or I’m done.”
Phillips did not take the CBS role Moonves offered.
3. Phillips Finally Decided to Speak Out About Her Trauma When She Experienced Physical Symptoms of Her Stress From Trauma
Though Phillips agreed to keep quiet initially, she soon experienced pains in her ear and jaw, and went to the emergency room twice. Finally, a doctor asked her if she was suppressing trauma, and if stress from that trauma was triggering these symptoms.
Then, The New Yorker article came out, in which multiple women accused Moonves of sexual assault. Phillips said to The New York Times, “The moment I read that there were other women he had victimized, the light bulb went off. I realized I had been manipulated beyond words and that his outreach to me was phony, an attempt to silence me. This all caused me incredible pain, both physical and emotional, as I had to grapple with the fact that I had allowed the same monster to victimize me twice, in the 1990s and once again some 20 years later.”
Phillips has since hired a lawyer to pursue her claims against Moonves. She claims that he caused her emotional distress by offering jobs in exchange for her silence, and that he defamed her by claiming their encounter was consensual. She is seeking $25 million for her damages.
4. Phillips Was Born in Charleston, South Carolina, & Has Been Married Twice
Phillips was born in Charleston, South Carolina who Dauer described as a small-town girl who “lit up a room” wherever she went. She made appearances on “Married…With Children,” “Showgirls,” and “The Watcher,” among other television shows and films.
According to The New York Times, Phillips married, had a son, then got divorced. She then remarried the husband she’s still with, who soon encouraged her to retire from acting after seeing how anxious it made her. In 2003, Phillips retired and moved with her family to live in Toronto full-time. However, she has since returned to acting.
5. Moonves Is Currently in the Midst of Negotiating a $120 Million Exit Package With CBS
According to Deadline, the $120 million exit deal that Moonves has been negotiating with CBS for several months now hangs in the balance, as a result of this latest allegation.
As for Dauer, he told The New York Times that he no longer represents Phillips. “I don’t know how I got in the middle of this,” he said. “All I know is that I’m a key witness with $120 million at stake. I can’t even imagine a sum of money like that.”