Tavis Smiley Ordered To Pay PBS $2.6 Million In Sexual Misconduct Case, Had Multiple Affairs W/ Subordinates
In March, after a 3-week trial, a Washington, D.C., jury discovered that Tavis Smiley breached the morals clause in his contract. The jurors heard deposition testimonies from six different women who all accused Tavis Smiley of misconduct.
The jury awarded PBS $1.5 million, which included costs and underwriting revenue for the last two seasons of Tavis Smiley’s talk show. After the trial, the network claimed that it should be entitled to additional damages under the morals clause.
Judge Yvonne Williams presided over the case and sided with the network, ruling on Aug. 5 that PBS was owed $2.6 million. That amount includes $1.9 million in liquidated damages, which PBS paid TS Media for his show’s final two seasons. PBS was also given $702,898 to cover the costs corporate underwriters paid for the same two seasons.
PBS suspended Tavis Smiley’s show in December 2017 and hired an outside firm to investigate the sexual misconduct complaints against him.
Tavis Smiley responded with a lawsuit against PBS, sparking a countersuit from the network. The jury rejected Tavis Smiley’s claim that PBS violated his contract by canceling his show.
Tavis Smiley also reportedly requested a bid to reduce the jury award, which Judge Yvonne Williams denied.
In the allegations, one woman recalls Tavis Smiley’s numerous sexual advances, stating that when she denied him he replied,
“I’m tired of you telling me no. I’m tired of you rejecting me, I’m going to show you what happens to people when they reject me.”
The woman ended up leaving her job and was paid $325,000 to resolve the sexual harassment complaint.
Another woman came forward with a testimony of a consensual relationship with Tavis Smiley. She says that when she turned him down for sex, he would remind her that he was her boss.
“I felt like my job was in jeopardy and that if I didn’t do what he wanted sexually, I would lose my job.”
The woman was later fired and believes that it was because others in the office were aware of the relationship.
Another woman, who was a paid guest on The Tavis Smiley Show, says that she had “some intimate connections” with the TV host, but directly after he refused to have her back on the show when she turned him down for sex.
What are your thoughts on Tavis Smiley being ordered to pay $2.6 million? Let us know in the comments.