Charlie Rose Claims His Sexual Harassment Accusers Are 'Exploiting the #MeToo Movement'
Charles Rose was sued in May by three women he worked with at CBS who allege he subjected them to "repeated, ongoing and unlawful physical and verbal sexual harassment"
On Thursday, Rose, who was fired from the network in November following multiple allegations of sexual harassment, filed a motion to dismiss the suit, which was filed by Katherine Brooks Harris, Yuqing “Chelsea” Wei and Sydney McNeal in May. They alleged Rose subjected them to “repeated, ongoing and unlawful physical and verbal sexual harassment,” including sexual touching, sexual comments and sexual advances.
In the motion, obtained by The Blast, Rose, 76, aggressively defends himself against the allegations, claiming the three women are seeking “to bolster their threadbare and conclusory claims by exploiting the #MeToo Movement and bootstrapping the accusations of sexual harassment made by third parties against Rose in articles published by The Washington Post.”
“Plaintiffs are not alleged to have had any knowledge of a single one of those accusations set forth in the articles,” the motion concludes. “These hearsay accusations do not and cannot supply the missing link to the legally deficient claims.”
In a statement, Rose’s attorney Therese Doherty told PEOPLE: “Last week, CBS filed a motion to dismiss this complaint in its entirety. CBS showed that the three plaintiffs did not meet the standard to state a legally viable claim of gender discrimination, harassment, or retaliation against any of the defendants, which is CBS, Charlie Rose and Charlie Rose Inc. We agree with CBS’ motion, and the complaint must be dismissed in its entirety.”
The lawsuit came shortly after the Washington Post published a piece in which 27 additional women accused the longtime journalist of sexual misconduct. The alleged incidents date back to 1976 and were allegedly reported to the network as early as 1986, with women accusing the TV anchor of inappropriate behavior such as making lewd comments and groping. Rose responded to the report via email to the Post at the time, saying, “Your story is unfair and inaccurate.”
RELATED VIDEO: Charlie Rose Accused of Sexual Harassment by Additional 27 Women Over Three Decades: New Report
In the motion, Rose calls Harris, Wei and McNeal’s allegations “devoid of factual context.”
“The Complaint attempts to seize upon routine workplace interactions and banter and spin them into actionable conduct by omitting the context and tone and using suggestive language (i.e., ‘sexually’),” reads the motion. “In the absence of the context, tone, and setting in which comments allegedly were made by Rose or in which Rose allegedly ‘touched’ any of the Plaintiffs, the Complaint does not establish that a reasonable person in Plaintiffs’ employment relationship would have perceived the alleged conduct as unwanted gender-based conduct. The conclusory examples are meaningless.”
Both McNeal and Harris claim that they were fired by Rose after the Post published its initial investigative report in November, when eight women accused him of sexual harassment, including groping, making lewd calls and walking naked in their presence.
They are suing for discrimination, harassment and retaliation.