Accused serial sexual harasser Charlie Rose, who was ousted in 2017 as host of “CBS This Morning,” admitted to having “inappropriate” relationships with women who worked for him during his career. He also admitted to “flirting” with members of the show’s staff, including his then-co-hosts Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell, he said in a deposition released Monday.
Rose said he was “embarrassed” to have had romantic workplace relationships with women during his career, and has “now come to understand” they were “inappropriate,” given the power dynamic between them.
Rose made the deposition on Nov. 14, which was released Monday as evidence in an ongoing lawsuit from three of the women who have said Rose sexually harassed them while working for him at CBS News: Katherine Brooks Harris, Sydney McNeal and Chelsea Wei.
In 2018, CBS settled the allegations, which Rose has denied. But the lawsuit continues, as attorneys for the women want Rose to answer more questions about his behavior, and believe he “feels no remorse for his conduct.” After he was ousted, some news stories tried to portray him sympathetically as a “brilliant” man who has become “broken” and “lonely” because of his alleged serial sexual harassment.
The deposition also revealed that King had nicknamed Rose “Charlie fuck’n Rose.”
“Did you have a nickname in the studio, Charlie fuck’n Rose?” attorney Kenneth Goldberg asked Rose, according to the deposition.
“I’ve heard that, yes,” Rose said.
“Did Gayle King refer to you in that way?” Goldberg asked.
“Yes,” Rose said.
“How about Norah O’Donnell, did she use that term with you?” Goldberg asked.
“I could imagine she did, but I don’t remember specifically,” Rose said.
Rose went on to admit he engaged in “flirty behavior” in the “CBS This Morning” studio with King, O’Donnell, and then-CBS host and correspondent Bianna Golodryga.
But he defended it because he claimed “no one seemed to object,” and considered it a form of “greeting each other.”
Several years prior to Rose’s alleged sexual harassment becoming public, HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” compiled clips of him making inappropriate and cringeworthy comments while on-air with King and O’Donnell. When the sexual harassment allegations emerged in 2017, the “awkward sex talk” videos resurfaced and went viral.
At least 35 women have accused Rose of sexually harassing them during his career in journalism, with the allegations stretching over three decades. In November 2017, The Washington Post published an initial report with allegations from eight women. In 2018, it revealed allegations from 27 additional women, and uncovered allegations of a toxic workplace culture at CBS News.
In the deposition, Rose’s attorney refused to allow him to answer numerous questions, including about many of the most damning and stomach-turning allegations in The Washington Post’s reporting, claiming they were not relevant to the lawsuit involving the three women. He also argued some of the questioning “simply seeks to prejudice and humiliate Mr. Rose.”
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.