Charlie Rose’s co-hosts respond to sexual misconduct allegations: ‘Painful for me to read’

Charlie Rose’s co-hosts respond to sexual misconduct allegations: ‘Painful for me to read’
"CBS This Morning" co-hosts Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King began their program Tuesday with a report about sexual misconduct allegations against their colleague Charlie Rose. (Image source: CBS News screenshot)

“CBS This Morning” co-hosts Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King began their program Tuesday with a report about sexual misconduct allegations against their morning show colleague Charlie Rose.

What are the allegations against Rose?

The Washington Post reported Monday that eight women who either worked or wanted to work for Rose’s PBS program accused the host of making unwanted sexual advances toward them, including exposing himself to them and groping them.

In a statement, Rose said, “I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior.”

CBS News suspended Rose in the wake of the report. PBS and Bloomberg LP suspended distribution of the “Charlie Rose” show.

In a statement, a spokesperson for CBS News said they are investigating the matter.

“These allegations are extremely disturbing and we take them very seriously,” the statement said.

What did O’Donnell and King say?

About the allegations against their co-host Rose, O’Donnell said, “It takes a lot of courage for these women to come forward and I think that they should continue to do something.

“This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women,” O’Donnell said. “Let me be very clear: There is no excuse for this alleged behavior. It is systematic and pervasive, and I’ve been doing a lot of listening and I’m going to continue to do that.

“This I know is true, women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or in society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility,” she continued. “I am really proud to work at CBS News. There are so many incredible people here, especially on this show. All of you here. This will be investigated. This has to end. This behavior is wrong, period.”

King said she wanted to echo O’Donnell’s comments, and that she is still “reeling” from the Post report.

“I got an hour and 42 minutes of sleep last night,” King said. “Both my son and my daughter called me. Oprah called me and said, ‘Are you OK?’ I am not OK. After reading that article in the Post, it was deeply disturbing, troubling, and painful for me to read.”

King said she hopes the story “becomes a moment of truth” and any other victims come forward.

She added that she has “enjoyed a friendship and a partnership with Charlie for the past five years.”

“I’ve held him in such high regard,” she said. “And I’m really struggling because how do you — what do you say when someone that you deeply care about has done something that is so horrible? How do you wrap your brain around that? I’m really grappling with that.

“That said, Charlie does not get a pass here,” King continued. “He does not get a pass from anyone in this room. We are all deeply affected, we are all rocked by this.”

She added, “I can’t stop speaking about the anguish of these women. What happened to their dignity, what happened to their bodies, what happened to maybe to even their careers — I can’t stop thinking about that and the pain they’re going through.”

King said she is trying “to be very honest” with viewers of the program by admitting how she is struggling with the news, but “I’m also clearly on the side of the women who’ve been very hurt and damaged by this.”

Both hosts said they hadn’t spoken with Rose since the report was published, but King said she intends to do so.

“None of us ever thought that we’d be sitting at this table in particular telling this story, but here we are,” King said. “But we will continue to report the news as we always have.”