The Washington Post shattered the media world Monday afternoon, after speaking to eight women about the treatment of 'Charlie Rose' employees between the late 1990s and 2011. The women told WaPo that Rose "made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas."
None of the women accusing Rose worked for CBS or PBS, according to the report, and PBS, CBS and Bloomberg all told the newspaper that "they have no records of sexual harassment complaints about Charlie Rose."
The claimants ranged in age from 21 to 37 at the time of the alleged encounters. Of the eight women, three spoke on the record., with several of his accusers fearing going on the record because of “his stature in the industry, his power over their careers or what they described as his volatile temper.”
Kyle Godfrey-Ryan said Rose walked nude in front of her at least a dozen times during her stint as his assistant in the mid-2000s, in addition to calling her at odd hours to describe his fantasy of watching her swim naked in a pool while he watched. At the time, she was around 21 years old. Godfrey-Ryan reported incidents of lewd phone calls and exposure to Rose’s longtime executive producer, Yvette Vega. According to Godfrey-Ryan, Vega responded, “That’s just Charlie being Charlie.“ In a statement to the Post, Vega said, “I should have stood up for them. I failed. It is crushing. I deeply regret not helping them.”
“It feels branded into me, the details of it,” Godfrey-Ryan told the paper.
CBS suspended Rose from his role as 'CBS This Morning' co-host and a contributor to '60 Minutes'. Both PBS and Bloomberg announced that both companies will stop distributing Charlie Rose's eponymous show, 'Charlie Rose', produced by Rose's company, Charlie Rose Inc, has aired on PBS since 1991.
"Most of the women said Rose alternated between fury and flattery in his interactions with them," the Washington Post reported. "Five described Rose putting his hand on their legs, sometimes their upper thigh, in what they perceived as a test to gauge their reactions. 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."
Of two dozen former employees who spoke with the Post, six confirmed they saw what they considered harassment, and 10 more said they were uncomfortable watching how Rose treated female employees. Two former staffers said that Rose’s female assistants were sometimes referred to as “Charlie’s Angels.” Prone to giving unsolicited shoulder rubs, some employees referred to the habit as "the crusty paw."
Godfrey-Ryan was so disallusioned with her experience with Charlie Rose that she left the field of journalism entirely. “It makes me a little upset to see him on television,” she said. “Everything I experienced with journalism there made me not want to stay.”
Charlie Rose addressed the women's allegations in a statement to the Washington Post. His comments strongly mirrored those issued several weeks ago by another Bloomberg heavyweight Mark Halperin. He said: "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.”
One of the WaPo writers Irin Carmon says that she initially heard rumors of Charlie Rose's bad-boy behavior as a writer at Jezebel in 2010. "Only in the past weeks, however, were she and her colleagues able to get the alleged victims to speak on the record," writes Jezebel tonight.