Charlie Rose, PBS interviewer and co-anchor of CBS This Morning, stands accused of sexual harassment by eight women.
The Washington Post reports that the allegations include “lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks, and genital areas.”
The accusers include employees and aspiring employees of Charlie Rose, the bare-bones, black-backgrounded, hour-long PBS interview program hearkening back to James Day’s Conversations from public television’s early years.
“There are striking commonalities in the accounts of the women, each of whom described their interactions with Rose in multiple interviews with The Post,” the newspaper points out. “For all of the women, reporters interviewed friends, colleagues or family members who said the women had confided in them about aspects of the incidents.”
Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, one of three women to put their name to their story published by the Post, alleged at least a dozen instances of a naked Rose, now 75, walking in front of her in his residences. She also says he called her to share his fantasies of her swimming naked. Godfrey-Ryan says when she complained to Yvette Vega, the show’s executive producer, she dismissed it as “Charlie being Charlie.” Godfrey-Ryan claims when Rose learned she had shared stories of the harassment with a friend, he fired her.
Rose provided a statement to the Post in which he acknowledged “inappropriate behavior”:
In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked. Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues.
It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.
I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will too. All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives.
Of the two dozen or so Rose employees interviewed for the story, the Post says more than half either witnessed outright harassment or behavior that made them uncomfortable. A common interaction saw Rose giving shoulder rubs to the young women dubbed “Charlie’s Angels,” the story alleges. Rose’s bathroom behavior, which allegedly involved summoning underlings to him as he bathed, became so well-known by the women that they gave it a nickname: “the shower trick.”
Another anonymous woman describes Rose as repeatedly putting his hands down her pants.
“By the time he touched me the first time, he was already very angry,” she told the Post. “I was scared, and I was also kind of frozen.” She says she began crying after another attempt. “Baby, oh baby,” Rose reportedly responded, “why are you crying?”
Shortly after the release of the explosive Post report on Monday afternoon, CBS suspended Rose, who contributes to 60 Minutes and has occasionally anchored the evening news in addition to his other duties, and PBS announced an immediate halt to the distribution of Rose’s interview program.