Charlie Rose suspended by CBS after women say he sexually harassed them

Screengrab via Jonathan Hodges/YouTube

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CBS suspended Charlie Rose on Monday after eight women said the journalist made “unwanted sexual advances” toward them, CNN reported.

In a report released by the Washington Post on Monday, women say Rose’s inappropriate behavior included “lewd” phone calls, exposing his naked body in their presence, and groping them.

“Charlie Rose is suspended immediately while we look into this matter,” a CBS News spokesperson told CNN.

PBS announced it suspended the distribution of Rose’s show, saying it was “shocked to learn today of these deeply disturbing allegations.” Bloomberg also said it would stop airing Rose’s show.

The women ranged in age from 21 to 37 at the time of the reported incidents, and all eight of them were employees or aspiring employees of the Charlie Rose show. Rose, 75, also co-hosts CBS This Morning and is a contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes.

Rose made a statement to the Post about the news, offering an apology to the women for his “inappropriate behavior” but also calling some of their accounts inaccurate. He said he considers himself “an advocate” for the women he has worked with.

“Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues,” Rose said. “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.”

In his statement, Rose alluded to reports of sexual harassment and assault that in recent weeks have exposed powerful men in media and politics as predators.

“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,” he said.

Of the eight women who said Rose made sexual advances toward them, five said Rose “put his hand on their legs, sometimes their upper thigh, in what they perceived as a test to gauge their reactions,” the Post reported. “Two said that while they were working for Rose at his residences or were traveling with him on business, he emerged from the shower and walked naked in front of them. One said he groped her buttocks at a staff party.”

A former intern and then associate producer for Rose’s PBS show, Reah Bravo, described in detail to the Post various unwanted encounters with Rose that occurred while traveling with him and while working at his private estate.

Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, who was one of Rose’s assistants, said Rose walked around nude in front of her and called her to describe his fantasies about her.

Godfrey-Ryan 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.’ ”

Vega, 52, said in a statement to the Post that she “failed” by not helping the women who confided in her about Rose’s inappropriate behavior.

“I should have stood up for them,” Vega said. “I failed. It is crushing. I deeply regret not helping them.”

Read the Post’s full report here.

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