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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

US broadcaster Charlie Rose faces sexual misconduct allegations

Eight women who worked for Rose or tried to work for him have accused the veteran journalist of various acts of misconduct, including groping them, walking naked in front of them and telling one that he dreamed about her swimming nude

US broadcast journalist Charlie Rose speaks after winning a Peabody Award for his work in 'One on One with Assad' in New York, on May 19, 2014. Lucas Jackson / Reuters
US broadcast journalist Charlie Rose speaks after winning a Peabody Award for his work in 'One on One with Assad' in New York, on May 19, 2014. Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Veteran US news broadcaster Charlie Rose has become the latest celebrity to face allegations of sexual misconduct.

Eight women who worked for the 75-year-old or tried to work for him between the late 1990s and 2011 have accused him of various acts of misconduct, including groping them, walking naked in front of them and telling one that he dreamed about her swimming nude.

Rose, 75, was promptly suspended by US television network CBS, while America's public broadcaster, PBS, said it was halting distribution of his "Charlie Rose" show on Monday after the allegations were reported in The Washington Post.

On Tuesday, CBS's morning programme, "CBS This Morning", aired without Rose, one of its main hosts.

The show — normally hosted by Rose, Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King — was down to the two women and the accusations against their colleague was their lead story.

King and O'Donnell, sharply condemned their suspended colleague, saying it was a time of reckoning in society.

"This has to end," said O'Donnell.

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King said she considered Rose a friend and held him in high regard, but was struggling because "what do you say when someone that you deeply care about has done something so horrible?".

"How do you wrap your brain around that?," she asked. "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."

She said that while the story described a Rose she did not know, "I'm also clearly on the side of the women who have been very hurt and damaged by this".

A stern O'Donnell did not address her relationship with Rose.

"This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women," she said. "Let me be very clear. There is no excuse for this alleged behaviour."

She said women cannot achieve equality in the workplace and society unless there is a reckoning and taking of responsibility.

Rose has co-hosted the morning show since 2012, and it has gained in the ratings against its better known ABC and NBC rivals with a newsier approach.

One of the woman who made allegations to The Post about Rose described unwanted sexual advances while working and travelling with him, first as an intern and then an associate producer on "Charlie Rose".

“It has taken 10 years and a fierce moment of cultural reckoning for me to understand these moments for what they were,” Reah Bravo was quoted as saying by The Post. “He was a sexual predator, and I was his victim.”

Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, who worked as one of Rose's assistants in the mid-2000s, said the broadcaster repeatedly made calls to her late at night or early in the morning to describe his fantasies of her.

She said she told Rose's longtime executive producer Yvette Vega about the calls but that she dismissed them as "just Charlie being Charlie".

Ms Vega made a statement to The Post saying she should have stood up for the young women on the show.

“I failed. It is crushing. I deeply regret not helping them,” vega, 52, told The Post.

Rose said in a statement that he was "greatly embarrassed" and apologised for his behaviour.

"It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologise for my inappropriate behaviour. I am greatly embarrassed," he said.

"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 realise I was mistaken."

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