Ex-CBS TV anchor Charlie Rose hit with sexual harassment lawsuit

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Three women filed a sexual harassment lawsuit on Friday against former CBS News television anchor Charlie Rose, accusing the prominent journalist of touching them inappropriately and making offensive comments.

FILE PHOTO: CBS news host Charlie Rose departs after meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S. on November 21, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

The lawsuit in New York state court appears to be the first brought against Rose alleging sexual misconduct since he was fired from the network last fall following a Washington Post report that he had harassed eight women. CBS News is also named as a defendant.

Rose, a co-host on CBS This Morning and a correspondent for the network’s flagship Sunday night news program “60 Minutes,” is among numerous men in politics, business and the entertainment industry who have seen their careers implode following allegations of sexual misconduct, fueling the social media #MeToo movement in the past few months.

In addition to CBS, both PBS and Bloomberg, which had aired the “Charlie Rose” show, severed their relationships with the 76-year-old.

The lawsuit came one day after the Washington Post published an investigative story that reported an additional 27 women, including 14 CBS News employees, had accused Rose of harassment. The newspaper also reported that CBS managers were warned of Rose’s conduct at least three times over a period of 30 years.

In response, the Post wrote, CBS News said in a statement that it had worked to strengthen protections for employees in the wake of the Rose scandal but could not “corroborate or confirm many of the situations described” in the new report.

Rose could not immediately be reached for comment. He called the latest Washington Post story “unfair and inaccurate,” according to the newspaper.

The plaintiffs in Friday’s lawsuit – Katherine Harris, Sydney McNeal and Yuqing Wei – worked in different capacities for Rose last year while he was a co-host for CBS This Morning, according to the complaint. It was not immediately clear if the women were among the accusers described in the Post’s reporting.

The lawsuit offered more than a dozen specific examples of Rose’s alleged misbehavior, including caressing all three women on separate occasions. He asked Harris and McNeal to describe their sex lives and boasted of his own conquests, according to the lawsuit.

Rose fired Harris and McNeal following last year’s Post story, and CBS did not offer them new positions, the lawsuit said. The complaint also accused the network of demoting Wei in retaliation for her complaint against Rose.

CBS News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Joseph Ax; editing by Clive McKeef

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