Court orders former PBS show host, Travis Smiley to pay $2.6 million over sexual harassment conviction

(New York Daily News) – Longtime talk show host Tavis Smiley, who was suspended from PBS in 2017 after multiple employees accused him of sexual harassment, has been ordered to pay the broadcaster $2.6 million for breaking his morals clause.

A judge ruled earlier this month that PBS was entitled to more than the initial judgement of $1.5 million, Variety reported Monday.

Smiley, who had hosted his namesake show since 2004, used his position of power to proposition subordinates, six women claimed during his three-week trial in March.

“I’m tired of you telling me no. I’m tired of you rejecting me,” he allegedly told one woman who turned him down, she testified. “I’m going to show you what happens to people when they reject me.”

Another claimed she was fired after a consensual relationship with Smiley that she tried to break off.

“I felt like my job was in jeopardy and that if I didn’t do what he wanted sexually, I would lose my job,” she testified.

PBS’ attorney argued in court that it’s impossible for a superior and a subordinate to have a consensual relationship “because of the power dynamic.”

A spokesperson for PBS did not immediately return a request for comment.


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