The Four: Battle for Stardom is down to just three.
Charlie Walk — the music producer and president of Republic Records Group who judged the Fox singing competition alongside Sean “Diddy’ Combs, DJ Khaled and Meghan Trainor — will no longer appear on the show after sexual harassment allegations, which he denies, were made against him.
“Out of respect for the contestants, my fellow judges and everyone involved with the show, I have made the decision not to attend the finale of The Four,” Walk said in a statement provided through his attorney, Patricia Glaser to PEOPLE. “I do not want my presence to be a distraction.”
“Needless to say this is very upsetting,” he continued. “Although I continue to support the ‘Me Too’ movement, there has been an extreme rush to judgment against me in this particular case which is unfair and inconsistent with anything that even actually happened. I welcome any investigation so that in short order these unfounded and hurtful accusations can be put to rest.”
Walk will be in Thursday’s episode, which was pretaped, but won’t appear on the show’s season finale, airing Feb. 8.
Earlier this week, allegations of sexual harassment were made against Walk were made by his former employee Tristan Coopersmith — the Life Lab founder saying in open letter posted to her company’s website that Walk allegedly inappropriately touched her, made “lewd comments” about her body, and shared with her his sexual fantasies. She also claimed he once pushed her onto his bed in his bedroom at his home when he was intoxicated.
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On Wednesday, Deadline reported he was suspended by his Universal Music Group label Republic Records as a second woman came forward with claims of inappropriate conduct.
“Republic Records is committed to a safe workplace environment where employees are treated fairly and respectfully,” the company said in a statement, TV Guide reported. “We have retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation of this matter and have encouraged anyone who has relevant information to speak to the firm’s investigators. Mr. Walk has been placed on leave, and will remain in leave for the duration of the investigation.”
The winner of The Four: Battle for Stardom will still win a record deal with Republic Records, Deadline reported. The executives assigned to work with the winner will be determined by the label.
The Four: Battle for Stardom airs Thursdays (8 p.m. ET) on Fox.
- With reporting by SARAH MICHAUD