Three female employees who worked with Charlie Rose at CBS are suing the former anchor over sexual harassment allegations

By Dana Rose Falcone
January 08, 2020 03:02 PM

Newly filed court documents containing Charlie Rose’s Nov. 14 deposition detail the ex-CBS host owning up to touching and flirting with women in — plus the lewd nickname they gave him because of his alleged behavior.

The 78-year-old news anchor, who is being sued by three female former CBS employees over sexual harassment allegations, confirmed that he heard himself being referred to by other employees in the network’s office as “Charlie f—‘n Rose.” Rose said he did not refer to himself by that nickname, but that his former CBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King did and he “could imagine” Norah O’Donnell did as well, though he told lawyer Kenneth Goldberg during the deposition, “I don’t remember specifically” in regards to the current CBS Evening News anchor.

Then-CBS This Morning co-anchors (from left) Norah O’Donnell, Charlie Rose and Gayle King.
| Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS

When asked whether he physically touched King, 65, or O’Donnell, 45, Rose replied, “All of us would in one way or the other touch each other, on the arm, hug each other,” and he believed hugs and kisses on the cheek were used only when the colleagues “were greeting each other, saying hello or if we were saying goodbye,” according to the deposition. The journalist said he employed this behavior with male and female employees, though Rose could not name a male employee he kissed when asked.

Rose stated he may have kissed female employees on the lips in “some special circumstances.”

However, Rose, answered “yes” when asked about engaging in flirtatious behavior with King and O’Donnell. He also said he hugged and kissed two of the women suing him — Brooks Harris and Sydney McNeal — and flirted with the third plaintiff Chelsea Wei using “conversations about China.”

When questioned about whether he thought this behavior was inappropriate, Rose said, “No one seemed to object.”

CBS has not responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

RELATED VIDEO: Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell Slam Co-Anchor Charlie Rose Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

CBS fired Rose in November 2017 after a Washington Post article documented eight women bringing sexual harassment complaints against the newsman. PBS also canceled his long-running interview show. Over two dozen additional women have since accused Rose of sexual misconduct over 30 years.

In September, Rose’s former makeup artist Gina Riggi file suit against him as well, claiming he was verbally abusive toward her and would make hurtful comments about her weight. Riggi also stated that she witnessed Rose sexually harass young female employees over the years.

Rose denied the charges through his lawyer Jonathan Bach.

“Mr. Rose vehemently denies and will vigorously contest these allegations,” Bach said in a statement to Variety. “Among other things, the allegations in the complaint are completely inconsistent with written statements made by the plaintiff to Mr. Rose, including ‘I love working for you at your show, and would love to be part of any show that you host,’ ‘I consider it an honor to be a member of your team,’ and ‘hope to see you more often! Please stop by any time.”