Another influential man has been accused of sexual harassment. Eight women have said that the host of the PBS show “Charlie Rose,” which ran from 1990 to 2011, made unwanted sexual advances towards them. The story was broken by The Washington Post.
The women who are accusing Rose were employees or aspired to work for Rose at the “Charlie Rose” show from the late 1990s to as recently as 2011. Their ages ranged from 21 to 37 at the time of the alleged encounters. Rose, 75, also co-hosts “CBS This Morning,” and he is a contributing correspondent for “60 Minutes.”
Three of the eight women spoke on the record. The other five spoke off the record because they fear Rose’s position in the news industry and his volatile temper. The women are accusing him of things that range from lewd phone calls to groping.
Rose issued an in-depth statement to the Post. It can be read in full below.
“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.
“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.”
In the Post’s account, the women describe Rose putting his hand on their upper thigh, walking in front of them naked, and groping. Reah Bravo, an intern and then associate producer for Rose’s PBS show beginning in 2007, described unwanted advances from Rose at his private waterfront estate in Bellport, New York.
“It has taken 10 years and a fierce moment of cultural reckoning for me to understand these moments for what they were,” she told The Post. “He was a sexual predator, and I was his victim.”
Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, one of Rose’s assistants in the mid-2000s, recalled “at least a dozen instances where Rose walked nude in front of her while she worked in one of his New York City homes. He also repeatedly called the then-21-year-old late at night or early in the morning to describe his fantasies of her swimming naked in the Bellport pool as he watched from his bedroom,” reported The Post.
“It feels branded into me, the details of it,” Godfrey-Ryan said.
She says she told Yvette Vega, Rose’s longtime executive producer, about the calls.
“I explained how he inappropriately spoke to me during those times,” Godfrey-Ryan said. “She would just shrug and just say, ‘That’s just Charlie being Charlie.’ ”
In a statement to The Post, Vega apologized for her negligence. She said she should have done more to protect the young women who worked on the show.
“I should have stood up for them,” said Vega, 52, who has worked with Rose since the show was created in 1991. “I failed. It is crushing. I deeply regret not helping them.”
In addition to the eight women who say they were harassed, The Post spoke to about two dozen former employees. They also spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“Six said they saw what they considered to be harassment, eight said they were uncomfortable with Rose’s treatment of female employees, and 10 said they did not see or hear anything concerning,” reported The Post.
Rumors about Rose’s behavior have circulated for years. Irin Carmon, one of the authors on the report, tried to write the story in 2010, but she was unable to confirm the story. In the weeks since the Harvey Weinstein accusations, Carmon and Post investigative reporter Amy Brittain jointly began contacting dozens of men and women who had worked on the “Charlie Rose” show or interviewed for jobs there. The Washington Post report includes sordid details of Rose’s actions that won’t be reprinted here.
Charlie Rose is a hard man to go up against. In 2014, Time magazine named Rose one of its 100 most influential people. Likewise, former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg described him as “one of the most important and influential people in journalism.”
“Everybody is terrified of him,” said one of the women who said that Rose groped her when she was an intern. “He creates this environment of constant fear. And then he’ll shine a spotlight on you and make you feel amazing.”
AP announced that CBS News has suspended Charlie Rose. PBS will also halt production and distribution of his show.
In related news, a top California Democrat announced his resignation today after sexual assault allegations.