The CBS television network fired veteran newsman Charlie Rose on Tuesday, a day after an explosive Washington Post report recounted stories from eight women who said he had sexually abused them with lewd comments, groping and walking around naked in their presence.
Rose, 75, was co-host of the network’s CBS This Morning news and talk show, and he occasionally appeared on its 60 Minutes investigative news show.
But Rose is perhaps better known for his acclaimed Charlie Rose interview show he has conducted since 1991, in which he has interviewed newsmakers from the worlds of politics, the media and entertainment. PBS and Bloomberg Television, which distributed his self-produced interview show, suspended him Monday after the newspaper account, and they both also ended their contracts with Rose on Tuesday.
Rose’s firing at CBS came hours after his co-hosts on the morning news show sharply condemned him, expressing shock at allegations that he had sexually abused young women who worked with him on the interview show or sought employment from the late 1990s to 2011.
“What do you say when someone that you deeply care about has done something so horrible?” anchor Gayle King said at the opening of CBS This Morning, which she has hosted alongside Rose and Norah O’Donnell. “How do you wrap your brain around that? I’m really grappling with that. That said, Charlie does not get a pass here. He doesn’t get a pass from anyone in this room.”
King said that while the Post’s story did not represent a Rose she knew, “I’m also clearly on the side of the women who have been very hurt and damaged by this.”
O’Donnell said, “This has to end. This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and, more generally, the safety of women. Let me be very clear: There is no excuse for this alleged behavior.”
The eight women alleged that Rose had unexpectedly sexually abused them when they were alone with him in work-related settings or on lewd telephone calls. They said he had walked around naked in their presence and had groped their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.
Rose is the latest prominent U.S. man to be the subject of allegations of long-running sexual abuse, a list that includes President Donald Trump, actor Bill Cosby, film producer Harvey Weinstein, journalists, corporate executives and other politicians, including former President Bill Clinton when he was in office in the 1990s.
Rose said in a tweet after the Post published its story, “I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed.” He admitted behaving insensitively, but wrote that he did not “believe that all of these allegations are accurate.”