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Tech: Charlie Rose, a TV icon, is accused of improper behavior by former interns

  • Three women who formerly interned for Charlie Rose told Business Insider that they experienced inappropriate behavior.
  • One spoke of Rose touching her legs in the back of a car as he had his driver take her to her college dormitory. Two others spoke of Rose opening the door to his home wearing nothing but a bathrobe and inviting them in.
  • The allegations are distinct from those reported by The Washington Post, but similar in nature: namely, the women were all seeking professional opportunities from the TV legend.
  • Delivering research to Rose’s home was ‘the worst job,’ one intern said, because of his reputation.

Charlie Rose, the television news icon, is facing accusations of lewd and inappropriate behavior leveled in eight accounts provided to The Washington Post.

Business Insider has other stories to report.

Three women have told Business Insider of their experiences while interning for Rose, or seeking to work for him, in 2005, 2008, and 2010. One said Rose touched her legs inappropriately as he was dropping her off at a dormitory in New York City, and then on a separate occasion when she sought career advice, invited her to his hotel room late in the evening.

Another says he invited her to dinner to discuss career opportunities, had her meet him at his townhouse, and greeted her at the door in a bathrobe and invited her into his home.

A third woman also says Rose greeted her at the door in a bathrobe while she was delivering research to his apartment as an intern, and invited her in. She declined.

The accounts are distinct from those reported byIrin Carmon and Amy Brittain at The Washington Post. Carmon and Brittain also describe Rose groping women or walking around nude in their presence. It’s not clear whether the women Business Insider spoke to are among the eight women who spoke to The Post. During the course of our reporting, sources told us other publications were looking into Charlie Rose.

The stories share some similar characteristics. The women were young, and drawn to Rose by the promise of opportunities — knowing that working for him could provide a huge boost to their careers. Rose, 75, is a broadcast television icon, and now hosts his own show that airs on PBS and Bloomberg Television during which he interviews world leaders, artists, and celebrities. He is also an anchor of “CBS This Morning” and the network’s news magazine, “60 Minutes.”

The women we spoke with said they were prompted to share their stories after other women in the entertainment and media industries spoke up about mistreatment by powerful men, namely Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

“I grew up watching [Charlie Rose] and thought it was a great opportunity,” said one of the women, who interned at “Charlie Rose” in 2005. “It looks great on the resume. He’s revered in the industry and really respected.”

They did not report the incidents because they didn’t want to harm their chances of getting professional opportunities in the future. They still worry about that. All three women spoke to Business Insider only on the condition that they are provided anonymity because they fear reprisals if they publicly accuse one of television’s most well-known journalists of improper behavior. Business Insider has also spoken with several other women who either say they have stories to tell, or whose names have come up while reporting this story, but they would not go on the record or elaborate.

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CBS, PBS and Bloomberg have all said they have suspended Rose.

Rose tweeted a statement, which was also published in The Washington Post:

“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,” Rose said in a statement provided to The Post. “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.”

A spokesman for Rose declined to add further comment when contacted by Business Insider.

None of the women Business Insider spoke with filed a workplace complaint against Rose. No complaints have been filed against him at New York City’s Commission on Human Rights, which is one of the groups that takes complaints about workplace harassment.

But this is not the first time Rose has been accused of inappropriate behavior with women.

In 2007, entertainment magazine Radar published a story titled “Toxic Bachelors” in which Rose was described as having groped a woman at a dinner party. The story, which refers to the women who produce his show as “Charlie’s Angels” prompted a request for a retraction from David Boies, Rose’s lawyer at the time. Boies represents other powerful media executives, including Harvey Weinstein.

Radar did not retract its story.

Job opportunities

Rose’s show is filmed in a studio at the headquarters of Bloomberg LP, the data and news company owned by the former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg. There he can often be seen on his way to and from the TV studio surrounded by a group of often young, attractive women, according to people who have worked there.

Interns’ tasks ranged from providing research for Rose for his interviews to greeting guests, getting coffee and cleaning up after the broadcast, former interns said.

One of the women was interning for the show in the summer of 2010, while she attended college in New York City. She conducted research for Rose’s interviews at the headquarters of Bloomberg LP and says he took a liking to her early on.

After an interview with a guest who had come on to discuss international affairs, he would ask what she thought of the interview. Though flattered at the time, seven years later she finds it strange that Rose — who speaks with policymakers and experts — cared what a 21-year-old student thought.

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“Looking back, why on earth did he want to talk to a 21-year-old about this?” she said in a telephone interview. “Maybe I was naïve.”

When Rose found out that her internship was ending before the summer, he suggested they get lunch to talk about job opportunities. She recalls being ecstatic; the other interns told her that getting lunch with Rose was unusual.

Then, Rose asked to reschedule the lunch to dinner.

“I told my dad that it had turned into a dinner,” she said, “and he said: ‘be careful, and don’t drink alcohol.'”

At dinner, Rose discussed job opportunities, and got a sense of what her ambitions were, she said.

He told her: “I’d like to get a job for you,” she said.

Then he offered to have his driver take her back to her dormitory. Once they were in the car, Rose “put his hand on my knee and thigh,” she said. She felt uncomfortable, she said, but also thought, “maybe it’s grandfatherly.”

The summer passed, and she reached back out to Rose to discuss a potential job, which he had previously discussed with her as her internship ended.

He emailed her that he’d like to meet with her to discuss the job at his hotel around 7 or 8 p.m. She didn’t see the message until around 10 p.m. or 11 p.m., and when she replied at that hour, he responded that she could come see him then.

The woman says she called her parents to ask for advice, and her mother said that they should reschedule. She recounted pushing back against her mother’s advice at first, thinking she didn’t realize how important it was to accommodate a busy man like Rose who could open doors for her professionally.

In the end, she ended up not going to see Rose, and never heard back from him again.

The woman, who currently does not work in the television industry, said she was unable to retrieve the emails to share them with Business Insider. She declined to put us in touch with her parents.

Meeting at the townhouse

The second woman, ending her internship in 2005, sought Rose out at Bloomberg’s headquarters on 59th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York to ask for advice on getting a job at “60 Minutes,” which he sometimes hosts.

Rose, who was in his 60s at the time, suggested they get dinner together that night, she said, later asking her to meet him first at his townhouse in Manhattan.

Getting dinner with Rose was certainly out of the ordinary since he had little face time with interns on a day-to-day basis. But Rose and this woman had met for lunch once.

She drove her mother’s car from her parents’ home in New Jersey, where she was living at the time, to Rose’s townhouse in the Manhattan. He opened the door to his home in a white bathrobe — like one, she says, that you’d find at a hotel.

“Come in,” she remembers him telling her. “I still have to get dressed upstairs.”

She felt uncomfortable with the situation but waited for him downstairs while he got dressed.

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“He was my dad’s age,” she said.

Rose drove her in his car to a West Village restaurant that he said he frequented, where they ate dinner and shared a bottle of wine. When the check came, the woman recounted Rose saying he couldn’t pay the bill because the restaurant only accepted cash. She ended up paying, she said.

As an intern, she was unpaid, a common practice in the media industry at the time. (Rose and his production company settled a class-action lawsuit in 2012 brought by unpaid interns.)

The woman returned to her parents’ home that night feeling shaken and recalled what happened, according to her mother, who spoke separately with Business Insider.

But there was no talk of reporting the incident, odd as it was, the mother said.

Asked why, the mother said: “He is a powerful man, and she was an intern. She was very fortunate to have an internship with him. To the extent that he could be helpful, he could also be hurtful.”

The woman’s conversations with Rose did not lead to a job, and she found a job outside the company after her internship ended shortly thereafter.

‘The worst job’

The third woman’s incident with Rose occurred when she brought research — also as an intern — to his apartment at the Sherry Netherland Hotel on Manhattan’s Central Park. This was during an afternoon in the late winter — February or March — of 2008, she said.

“That was the worst job,” she said because Rose had a reputation among some of the interns of being inappropriate.

When the woman — who was 21 years old at the time — arrived, Rose opened the door wearing nothing but a light-colored bathrobe, which was closed, she said. It appeared that he had just emerged from the shower.

He invited her into his apartment, and she declined. “I was so shocked,” she said, recalling the incident. “It was weird because he knew someone was coming over … It made me feel uncomfortable.” It was common for interns to deliver Rose research personally to his apartment in the afternoons before the show began taping, multiple people who worked there said. Rose usually was not present at the show before then.

The woman’s father told Business Insider that she told him about the experience around the time it occurred nearly a decade ago.

The woman said that she had no one to report Rose’s misconduct to.

“He was the star of the show,” she said. “Who do you go talk to about the star of the show?”

She was also an intern at the time, making any complaint all the more likely that she wouldn’t get hired full time. “You need them more than they need you,” she said.

The three women who spoke with Business Insider said they did not report their accounts to anyone in charge. Yvette Vega, Rose’s longtime executive producer, told The Washington Post that she regretted not supporting the women whose accounts she had heard of.

“I should have stood up for them,” Vega told The Post. “I failed. It is crushing. I deeply regret not helping them.”

About the author

Webby

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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