(ABC News) – CBS News has suspended veteran journalist Charlie Rose after eight women accused him of sexual misconduct in interviews with The Washington Post.
“Charlie Rose is suspended immediately while we look into this matter. These allegations are extremely disturbing and we take them very seriously,” CBS News said in a statement.
Five women told The Washington Post that Rose, an anchor for “CBS This Morning,” groped them; two said that he walked naked in front of them; and one accused Rose of firing her after he allegedly touched her inappropriately and made sexually charged remarks to her.
The newspaper reported that Rose’s accusers either worked with or aspired to work with him on his PBS show, “Charlie Rose,” from the late 1990s to 2011. At the time of the alleged incidents, the women ranged in age from 21 to 37, according to the newspaper.
Rose issued an apology to the Post and later, he shared it on Twitter.
“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,” he said in a statement to the newspaper. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, a former assistant to Rose in the mid-2000s and one of the three accusers who spoke to the newspaper on the record, claimed that Rose walked nude in front of her at one of his homes in New York City and called her in the wee hours to describe fantasies of watching her swim naked. She said that she reported his calls to Rose’s longtime executive producer, Yvette Vega, who apparently told her, “That’s just Charlie being Charlie.” Vega told the Post and later confirmed to ABC News that she regretted not doing more for Godfrey-Ryan and others who mounted similar complaints.
“I should have stood up for them,” she said. “I failed. It is crushing. I deeply regret not helping them.”
Godfrey-Ryan said that ultimately, Rose fired her, and she later left journalism.
“He took me out to lunch and told me how embarrassed he was, how he didn’t treat me like that,” she said. “It was really about how I got it wrong, and, obviously, I couldn’t work there anymore.”
Reah Bravo, who worked alongside Rose beginning in 2007, claimed to the Post that she was groped — sometimes forcefully — by Rose on more than one occasion. In 2008, she said that as she prepared to accept a new job, Rose offered her a position in Washington, D.C., and the opportunity to live in his Georgetown residence. She declined.
“I was leaving because I was getting away,” she said. “I would never want to live someplace where he had keys.”
Megan Creydt, the third woman who spoke to the Post on the record, overlapped with Godfrey-Ryan when she worked as a coordinator on Rose’s show from 2005 to 2006. Creydt claimed that Rose put his hand on her thigh, which alarmed her.
“I don’t think I said anything,” she said. “I tensed up. I didn’t move his hand off, but I pulled my legs to the other side of the car. I tried not to get in a car with him ever again. I think he was testing me out.”
PBS says it has reportedly suspended the distribution of Rose’s show in light of the claims.
“PBS was shocked to learn today of these deeply disturbing allegations,” the network said in a statement. “‘Charlie Rose’ is produced by Charlie Rose, Inc., an independent television production company. PBS does not fund this nightly program or supervise its production, but we expect our producers to provide a workplace where people feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect.”
Bloomberg says it has suspended broadcasts of “Charlie Rose.” “We are deeply disturbed to learn of these allegations and are immediately suspending the show from airing on Bloomberg TV,” the company said in a statement.