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The LAPD captain’s commitment was revealed in a message to a CBS executive


CBS and its former president Leslie Moonves will pay $30.5 million as part of a settlement with the New York attorney general’s office to compensate the network’s shareholders as part of an insider trading investigation and to cover up sexual assault allegations against Moonves.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — As former captain of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Division, Corey Palco was a star himself.

The tall cop with the telegenic smile has met celebrities who have received stars on the Walk of Fame, led security at the Academy Awards and even landed a role as himself in the TV drama Bosch, about a talented but troubled LAPD detective.

But Palko’s ties to the entertainment industry came under scrutiny Thursday after prosecutors said he passed on a confidential police report from a CBS sexual assault victim to her former executive Les Moonves, who was charged in the case and for whom Palko once provided security, calling questions about where his loyalties lay.

Los Angeles police said they are conducting an internal investigation into Polk’s conduct — he retired in 2021 as commander — and the state attorney general is looking into any criminal elements after a report said he conspired with CBS to cover up sexual assault allegations against Moonves.

The report, which did not mention Palk by name, was part of a settlement announced Wednesday by New York Attorney General Letitia James in which CBS and Moonves, its former president, agreed to pay $30.5 million. About $6 million goes to sexual assault and harassment programs, and the rest to shareholders who were kept in the dark while executives tried to keep the allegations from becoming public.

At least one executive privy to the internal investigation into Moonves’ conduct sold millions of dollars worth of stock before the allegations against Moonves became public, which the attorney general’s office said amounted to insider trading.

Weeks after the #MeToo movement exploded with allegations of sexual abuse against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in 2017, Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb told the Hollywood Bureau of Investigation that she had been sexually assaulted by Moonves in 1986 and 1988 while they were together. worked at Lorimar Productions, the studio behind “Dallas” and “Knots Landing.”

A law enforcement official briefed on the matter confirmed that the woman involved was Golden-Gottlieb, who died this summer. The official did not have the right to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity.

Jim Gottlieb, Golden-Gottlieb’s son, told The Associated Press in an email that New York investigators have contacted him several times over the past year. He said he didn’t think LAPD ignored his mother at the time and was pleased her report helped bring Moonves down.

“She was never looking for money – she just didn’t want him to get away with what he did,” Jim Gottlieb wrote.

Gottlieb also said Polk’s misconduct is similar to old stories of officers colluding with organized crime.

“I would like to think that the police are looking for us, the victims, and not the criminals,” he wrote. “Perhaps the entertainment industry is the criminal organization in Los Angeles that the LAPD feels it needs to protect.”

Attorney Gloria Allred, who represented Golden-Gottlieb, said that in nearly half a century of practicing law, she had never heard of police giving a suspect in for questioning, and said it could have stunned other women who reported violence.

“It’s very, very disturbing,” Allred said. “It’s really outrageous that they did it. And I have to ask, what were their motives when it actually happened? Why did they try to credit CBS, for example? Did they get anything in return?”

Golden-Gottlieb made her allegations public when Ronan Farrow reported on the allegations against Moonves in The New Yorker in September 2018. Hours after the publication, Moonves resigned.

Hours after Golden-Gottlieb made her report, which was marked “confidential” in three places, Palka turned it over to CBS, the report said. Palka then met personally with Moonves and another CBS executive.

The New York AG report said the complainant requested confidentiality. It cited the California Constitution, which prohibits disclosure of confidential information “to the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, or any other person acting on behalf of the defendant that could be used to locate or persecute the victim or the victim’s family.”

The captain told CBS that he instructed police officers investigating the complaint to “warn” the woman not to take her statements to the media. He also put CBS staff in touch with the lead investigator.

CBS immediately went into damage control mode, and an executive warned the news staff to stay closer to the phone because they “have a situation.” He told another member of staff not to miss any messages and added: “I wouldn’t bother you if it wasn’t serious.”

They began drafting various statements about Golden-Gottlieb and consulted with a third-party public relations firm about possible ramifications, the report said.

When the accusations eventually became public, Palka sent a memo to the CBS contact saying, “We’ve worked so hard to try to avoid this day.” He sent Moonves a note saying he was sorry and “I will always be there for you and I pledge your loyalty.”

From 2008 to 2014, Palka provided personal security for Moonves at the CBS-hosted Grammy Awards.

Patty Giggans, executive director of the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Peace Over Violence, said her organization’s advocates, who work directly with the LAPD, including the Hollywood division, were stunned by the news.

She said she expects the scandal to have long-term effects, beyond victims who may be afraid to report the assaults to Los Angeles police, as her advocates now reevaluate the relationship they’ve built with local detectives.

In Hollywood, Palka, who is more than 6 feet (2 meters) tall, was a public figure.

He was a frequent presence on the Walk of Fame, posing with celebrities such as Linda Carter, Jack Black, Carrie Underwood and Stacey Keach. He received a personal thank you during Mark Hamill’s star ceremony and posed with Hamill, Harrison Ford and George Lucas.

In 2019, he was honored as one of the “Heroes of Hollywood” by the Hollywood Chamber Foundation. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the star ceremonies on the Walk of Fame, declined to comment.

An attorney for Moonves and CBS did not respond to requests for comment Thursday, and neither did Palka.

Palk’s LinkedIn profile said he was an incident commander at the Academy Awards and “numerous high-profile events related to the entertainment industry.”

In 2018, the Los Angeles District Attorney declined to pursue criminal charges against Moonves, saying the statute of limitations had expired.

Moonves admitted he had relationships with three of his accusers, but said they were consensual. He denied attacking anyone, saying in a statement at the time that “decade-old false allegations are now being made against me.”


Associated Press writer Michael R. Sisak in New York contributed.

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