Charlie Rose Suspended After Eight Women Accuse Him of Sexual Harassment: 'I Deeply Apologize'
Charlie Rose has been suspended after eight women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against the veteran broadcast journalist.
The Washington Post published a report Monday in which eight women alleged that Rose, 75, made non-consensual sexual advances towards them, including groping, lewd calls and walking naked in their presence, while they either worked for or aspired to work for the TV host on his Charlie Rose show spanning from the late ’90s to 2011.
In a statement to PEOPLE on Monday, CBS News said that “Charlie Rose is suspended immediately while we look into this matter. These allegations are extremely disturbing and we take them very seriously.”
According to the Post, PBS — which distributes Charlie Rose — and Bloomberg LP — the show is filmed at its headquarters in Manhattan — have also suspended distribution of Charlie Rose.
Rose, who also co-hosts CBS This Morning and contributes to 60 Minutes, apologized for his behavior in a statement to the Post: “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,” his statement continued.
“I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will too,” he concluded. “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.”
Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, who worked as a former assistant to Rose in the mid-2000s, said that while she worked at one of his homes in New York City, Rose walked in front of her naked at least 12 times.
Godfrey-Ryan, who was 21 at the time, said that Rose also repeatedly made lewd phone calls to her during which he fantasized about her swimming naked in a pool. She also alleged that Rose fired her when he learned that she told a mutual friend about his behavior.
Godfrey-Ryan said she told longtime executive producer Yvette Vega, who has worked with Rose since the show’s origin in 1991, about the “inappropriate” calls and touching, but Vega “would just shrug and just say, ‘That’s just Charlie being Charlie.’ ”
“She just made me feel like I was being a dramatic little girl,” Godfrey-Ryan said about Vega, who allegedly stopped reporting Rose’s conduct.
“I should have stood up for them,” Vega, 52, said in a statement to the Post. “I failed. It is crushing. I deeply regret not helping them.”
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According to Reah Bravo, who worked as an associate producer for Charlie Rose beginning in 2007, she claimed Rose made unwanted sexual advances towards her at his estate in Bellport, New York, and also while traveling, including him allegedly pressing his body onto hers while flying on a private plane.
“I felt at a loss. I mean, what am I going to do? We were how many feet up in the air?” said Bravo, who added that they were clothed during the encounter. “I remember him being on top of me.”
“It has taken 10 years and a fierce moment of cultural reckoning for me to understand these moments for what they were,” Bravo said. “He was a sexual predator, and I was his victim.”
Megan Creydt, who worked as a coordinator from 2005-06, said that Rose “put his hand on my mid-thigh” while she was sitting in the passenger seat of his car while driving together in Manhattan. “I tensed up. I didn’t move his hand off, but I pulled my legs to the other side of the car,” said Creydt. “I tried not to get in a car with him ever again. I think he was testing me out.”
Two of the women said that while working at his home or traveling with him, he exited the shower and walked in front of them in the nude. Another claimed that while at a staff party, Rose groped her butt.
One of the women claims that during her internship, Rose groped her stomach and breasts while she was driving him from Bellport to Manhattan.
The Post reports that the employees did not work for Bloomberg LP or PBS, but were employed by Charlie Rose Inc.; the women allege human resources support was not provided.
According to the outlet, representatives for PBS, CBS and Bloomberg claim there are no sexual harassment complaints against Rose in their records.