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CBS News settles lawsuit with three women who say they were harassed by Charlie Rose

The Paley Center For Media Presents: The News Is Back: CBS This Morning And The Morning Landscape
Although CBS has settled a lawsuit filed by three former employees, the plaintiffs are continuing their legal action against former network anchor Charlie Rose, who is also named in the suit.
(Roy Rochlin / Getty Images)

CBS News has settled a lawsuit filed by three female employees who claimed they were sexually harassed by the network’s former anchor Charlie Rose.

The suit filed in May by Sydney McNeal, Katherine Brooks Harris and Chelsea Wei alleged “that CBS management, numerous broadcasters and studio staff witnessed Mr. Rose’s unlawful conduct” and failed to take any action to correct it.

A CBS News representative said Tuesday that the network has paid an undisclosed sum to the women who are no longer employees at the network. The amount they received was kept confidential at their request.

The plaintiffs are continuing their legal action filed in New York State Supreme Court against Rose, 76, who is also named in the suit.

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The three women, all in their 20s, worked at “CBS This Morning” while Rose was co-anchor on the program. McNeal and Harris went on to take jobs at Rose’s eponymous PBS talk show. They became unemployed when it was canceled in November 2017, the same month Rose was fired from CBS for his alleged misconduct.

The lawsuit described 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 detailed his sexual conquests to McNeal and Harris and directed them to share details with him about their sex lives. He allegedly 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.

Rose’s attorney Bob Bodian said after the lawsuit was filed that the claims made by McNeal, Harris and Wei are “without merit.”

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The case against Rose comes amid a wave of harassment claims that have upended CBS.

The company’s board is awaiting the results of an investigation into allegations against former Chief Executive Leslie Moonves, who was ousted after an October report in the New Yorker that he had sexually assaulted a number of women over his career. Rose’s ex-boss Jeff Fager, the former executive producer of “60 Minutes,” also faced allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior and was fired in September after sending a threatening text to a CBS News correspondent reporting on the matter.

stephen.battaglio@latimes.com

Twitter: @SteveBattaglio


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