Judge says CBS liable in sex harassment suit against former radio unit
CBS Corp will have to defend itself against claims of a toxic, frat house culture at its former radio division that were filed in an explosive lawsuit last year, a Brooklyn judge ruled.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Pamela L. Fischer ruled that Lauren Lockwood, a former saleswoman who claims she was sexually harassed and unfairly lost her job, can add CBS Radio’s former parent company because the division was owned by CBS during the time of the alleged harassment, according to an Oct. 1 order.
Lockwood was hired in 2006, when CBS owned the company, according to the 2018 complaint. CBS hadn’t previously been named as a defendant because it had sold the radio arm to Entercom two years ago — but documents discovered by Lockwood’s team allow them to make the case that CBS could be liable, the judge ruled.
The suit also names top CBS Radio executives and WFAN host Joe Benigno, who she claimed had tried to pressure her into a threesome with his wife. After she refused, she claims, WFAN fired her.
The expansion of the civil suit comes after New York Attorney General Letitia James has probed CBS Radio as part of its overall investigation into misconduct at the media giant — revelations of which have led to the resignation of ex-CEO Les Moonves last year.
Last year, The Post also exposed how CBS Radio had ignored complaints of racism and sexism at the company by three employees, including by longtime host Dan Taylor. Those included accusations that Taylor, a 40-year veteran who spun oldies weekday afternoons at CBS Radio, referred to another radio host as a “f–king Jew bastard,” called a marketing manager a “dyke” and described a potential co-worker as “faggy,” according to an HR complaint to CBS Radio that The Post had obtained.
Earlier this year, Taylor abruptly left his post.
CBS’ lawyers have claimed in court documents that it had no involvement in Lockwood’s hiring, termination, or discipline. A spokesman for CBS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Donna Clancy, a lawyer for Lockwood, declined to comment on the motion.
Entercom representatives have denied any wrongdoing, and the company is fighting the suit. Lawyers for Benigno have previously denied any wrongdoing.
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