Charlie Rose has been fired from CBS News after eight women claimed in a Washington Post article that he had sexually harassed them.
The women told the Post’s Irin Carmon and Amy Brittain that Charlie Rose, who hosts his eponymous show on PBS and co-anchored CBS This Morning, about incidents of groping, creepy calls, inappropriate touching, and unwanted nudity that date from the early 1990s to 2011.
Three women went on record, in detail, about their encounters with Rose. Five others asked to remain anonymous, fearing reprisal because of the 75-year-old Rose’s high profile and influential position within the media industry, according to the Washington Post.
In a memo obtained by the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi, CBS President David Rhodes called Rose’s behavior “extremely disturbing and intolerable.”
“I’ve often heard that things used to be different. And no one may be able to correct the past,” Rhodes wrote. “But what may once have been accepted should not ever have been acceptable.”
Charlie Rose fired from CBS. Staff memo from CBS News president David Rhodes: pic.twitter.com/MyhqgxTKuj— Paul Farhi (@farhip) November 21, 2017
The three women who came forward by name include Reah Bravo, an intern who later became a producer on Charlie Rose starting in 2007; Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, a former assistant who worked for Rose in the mid-2000s when she was in her early 20s; and Megan Creydt, who worked for Rose’s PBS show between 2005 to 2006.
The women, including those who spoke anonymously, describe a mercurial man whose employees whispered about inappropriate behavior.
Rose addressed the allegations in a statement to the Post. He said, “I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior,” adding that he accepts responsibility, “though I do not believe that all these allegations are accurate”:
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.
PBS announced that it will stop distribution of Rose’s show (which also airs on Bloomberg TV), and CBS has also suspended the journalist amid the allegations.
Eight women, eight disturbingly similar stories
Reah Bravo first encountered Charlie Rose as a 29-year-old intern on his show in 2007, according to the Post. At the time, Rose had offered her some side work to help organize his books and tapes at his home in Bellport on Long Island. Rose returned late one night, and Bravo described the following encounter:
She said he insisted that they have a glass of wine at the dining room table in the main house.
Then, he suggested they walk out to his dock and look at the moon, Bravo said. Once there, “he came up from behind me and he put his arms around me,” she said, remembering that she felt a mix of apprehension and confusion. “It reflected his poor judgment. How could a man of his stature and his power be doing something so inappropriate? ... It seemed reckless.”
Bravo continued to work for Rose, and her role on his show expanded. The harassment also continued, she told the Post: Rose groped her, pressed up against her on a private plane, and emerged naked from a shower in a hotel room on a work trip. She also mentioned his aggressive temper, including a situation when Rose got physical and grabbed her hair.
Kyle Godfrey-Ryan’s story echoes Bravo’s account: inappropriate touching and occasional outbursts of rage. Godfrey-Ryan also remembered late-night and early morning phone calls from Rose, where he would describe his sexual fantasies and hound her about her own sex life:
“‘Who’s next to you? What do you do? Is he touching you?’ And I was like, ‘Okay, Charlie, I’ll see you tomorrow.’ I just acted like it wasn’t happening.”
She said other calls involved a “very specific, repetitive fantasy” of her disrobing at the Bellport home and swimming “back and forth in the pool in the moonlight” as he watched from his bedroom.
Megan Creydt worked on Rose’s show as a coordinator for a year, and says the journalist touched her thigh, and that she came forward to bolster other women’s stories.
Another account came from a woman who interviewed for a job with Rose in 2009, when she was in her 30s. The interviews reportedly included dinners with wine and rides in his car, where he touched her knee. About a year later, Rose reached out to her again about a job. She met with Rose in his office and at his Manhattan apartment; he later invited her to his home Bellport, though he said he’d be working most of the time.
After they ate dinner, she said, the two returned to Rose’s home, where he gave her a tour of his property and then changed into an open bathrobe. The woman said Rose tried to put his hand down her pants, and she remembers being “scared” and “frozen”:
After that, her memory is “hazy,” she said. They ended up in his bedroom. … “I have no recollection of how we went from here to there. I do remember I was crying the entire time.”
He reached down her pants again, she said, and she pushed his hands away.
The woman said she and Rose barely addressed the incident the next morning. She did not get the job.
The other three women who spoke out described other scenarios where Rose appeared naked or groped them.
They also say the intimate structure of Rose’s PBS show — which operated separately from the network — made it difficult to come forward or be taken seriously. Yvette Vega, a producer on Rose’s PBS show since 1991, gave a statement to the Post. “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.”
The allegations against Rose come after a wave of sexual assault and harassment stories against influential figures in entertainment, politics, and media, including Vox’s report on Glenn Thrush, the New York Times White House correspondent.