Legendary newsman Charlie Rose was fired by CBS on Tuesday after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against him surfaced a day earlier, The Associated Press reported. Eight women told The Washington Post in a bombshell story published on Monday that he had sexually harassed them while they worked for the veteran anchor. Another three women, former interns, told Business Insider they went through similar experiences while working for Rose. Rose has hosted CBS This Morning alongside Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell for the last five years, and also is a featured interviewer on the network’s iconic newsmagazine 60 Minutes. The AP reported that PBS and Bloomberg have also suspended airings of his nightly interview show. CBS News president David Rhodes explained the decision to terminate Rose’s contract with the network to employees in an internal memo. NBC News obtained the memo, which described Rose’s behavior as “extremely disturbing and intolerable,” and posted it on Twitter.
Addressing the shocking news on Tuesday morning, King and O’Donnell said that the behavior Rose is accused of is not the man they know, but, nonetheless, they said he didn’t deserve a pass because they know and like him.
Three of the eight women who talked to the Post agreed to go on record. At the time that the assaults allegedly occurred, all had been working for Rose, or trying to land a job on his program. And similarities run throughout their respective accounts. Five said that Rose put his hand on their legs or thighs “as a test to gauge their reactions.” Two women claimed Rose walked naked in front of them at his estate in Bellport, New York. One said he tried to put his hands down her pants while she was “crying the entire time.”
Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, one of Rose’s assistants in the mid-2000s, told the Post that he repeatedly called her and made sexually explicit comments — asking who she was sleeping next to, and relating his fantasy of watching her swim naked in the pool at his Bellport home. She also claims that Rose would yell at her and, during subsequent efforts to be conciliatory, would grope her.
“It would usually entail some version of him also touching me,” she said. “A hand on the upper thigh. He’d give a hug but touch the side of the breast.”
Rose’s staff appears to have been aware of his behavior. Reah Bravo, a former intern on the Charlie Rose show who helped the journalist catalogue his files at Bellport, said a producer told her she should use the show’s car service to return home if Rose did anything “sketchy.” Bravo alleges that Rose subsequently embraced her without her consent and showered naked in front of her. Godfrey Ryan said that when she complained to Rose’s longtime executive producer, Yvette Vega, about his behavior, she was told, “That’s just Charlie being Charlie.”
In a statement to the Post, Rose said that he does “not believe all of these allegations are accurate.” But he did not issue a flat-out denial of their claims. Later, on Twitter, Rose posted a longer statement.
“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,” his statement reads. “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 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.”