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Three women file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Charlie Rose and CBS News

Three women file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Charlie Rose and CBS News
Fired CBS News anchor Charlie Rose is being sued by three of the women who worked for him at the network, claiming that he sexually harassed them. (CBS)

Three women who worked for former CBS News anchor Charlie Rose have filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him and the network.

The suit filed Friday in New York State Supreme Court follows a detailed report by the Washington Post in which 27 women, including 13 at CBS, claimed they were sexually harassed by Rose over his 40-year career in television news. Rose, 76, who was co-anchor of "CBS This Morning" for nearly six years, was fired in November after a Post report said eight women who worked on his talk show "Charlie Rose" on PBS alleged he harassed them.

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After the initial Post story came out, Rose said, "I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken." He told the Post that its most recent report on his behavior is "unfair and inaccurate."

The suit filed by Sydney McNeal, Katherine Brooks Harris and Chelsea Wei alleges "that CBS management, numerous broadcasters and studio staff witnessed Mr. Rose's unlawful conduct" and failed to take any action to correct it.

The three women, all in their 20s, worked at "CBS This Morning" while Rose was co-anchor there. McNeal and Harris went on to work at his talk show and lost their jobs when it was canceled in November.

A representative for CBS News said the division will "vigorously defend" itself against the allegations made against it in the lawsuit.

Rose's attorney Bob Bodian said in a statement that the claims in the lawsuit are "without merit."

CBS News said Thursday that it had hired an employment law firm, Proskuer Rose, to advise the company following the publication of the Post report.

The lawsuit describes various incidents in which Rose allegedly made inappropriate sexual comments to the women. They also claim that Rose was frequently "caressing and touching their arms, shoulders, waist and back, pulling them close to his body and kissing them on the cheek."

Rose allegedly described his sexual conquests to McNeal and Harris and directed them to share details with him about their sex lives. He suggested to them that they become lovers.

The suit also claims that Rose used profane language to all three women when he was unhappy with their work.

The women are being represented by New York-based employment lawyer Kenneth Goldberg.

Twitter: @SteveBattaglio

UPDATES:

9:02 p.m.: This article was updated with a statement from Charlie Rose's attorney.

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This article was originally published at 2:10 p.m.

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