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CBS Fires Charlie Rose Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Charlie Rose is out at CBS.

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, it was a plummet from the pinnacle of TV journalism.

CBS News fired Rose following sexual misconduct allegations from eight female staffers. Rose had been host of "CBS This Morning" and a correspondent for "60 Minutes."

PBS also announced Tuesday it has ended its partnership with Rose, host of its long-running interview show.

Both companies cut ties with Rose after what they called "extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior"

CBS News President David Rhodes said there is nothing more important than assuring a safe, professional workplace.

Rose's "CBS This Morning'' co-hosts Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell addressed the allegations Tuesday morning.

"I really am still reeling. I got an hour and 42 minutes of sleep last night," Gayle 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. That said, I think we have to make this matter to women – the women that have spoken up, the women who have not spoken up because they're afraid. I'm hoping that now they will take the step to speak out, too."

"This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women," Norah 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. 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," O'Donnell said.

In a statement, PBS said that the service "expects all the producers we work with to provide a workplace where people feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect.''

While PBS has distributed the program, it is produced by a company owned by Rose.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre has rescinded an award it planned to give Rose after learning of allegations of sexual harassment against him.

Sean Dolan, a spokesman for the diocese, said organizers uninvited Rose from Tuesday's luncheon at the Garden City Hotel, where they had planned to honor the anchor as a "leader in broadcast media."

"In light of allegations that surfaced publicly yesterday, Telecare, the television station of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, has determined that Charlie Rose will not be attending, or receiving an award at today's luncheon," Dolan said in a statement. "We pray for all victims of any form of abuse or harassment."

Rose is the latest public figure to be felled by sexual misconduct allegations, with PBS initially halting distribution of his nightly interview show and CBS News announcing his ouster after having suspended him following a Washington Post report with the accusations of eight women.

The women, who all worked for Rose or tried to work for him, accused the veteran newsman of groping them, walking naked in front of them and telling one that he dreamed about her swimming nude, the Post reported Monday.

Rose, 75, said in a statement that he was "deeply embarrassed'' and apologized for his behavior.

As CBS2's Dick Brennan reported, three women went on the record in the Post's deeply-reported story by reporters Irin Carmon and Amy Brittain.

"I think that you can't understate, you know, the level of influence and power that a man like Charlie Rose has," Brittain said.

Reah Bravo, a former associate producer for Rose's PBS show who began working for him in 2007, told the newspaper: "He was a sexual predator, and I was his victim.'' She said Rose groped her on multiple occasions and once, during a business trip to Indiana, called her to his hotel room where he emerged from a shower naked.

Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, one of Rose's former assistants, was 21 when she said Rose repeatedly called her to describe his fantasies of her swimming naked at the pool at his Bellport, Long Island home while he watched from his bedroom. She said she was fired when Rose learned she had spoken to a mutual friend about his behavior.

Megan Creydt, who worked as a coordinator on Rose's PBS show in 2005 and 2006, told the newspaper that she was sitting in the passenger seat as Rose drove in Manhattan one day when he put his hand on her thigh. Five women interviewed by the Post described similar grabs to their legs in what many interpreted as an attempt to see their reactions.

One of the women, who asked to remain anonymous in the Washington Post article, claimed that she was interviewing for a job with Rose when he invited her to the Bellport house. She told the newspaper Rose dangled his legs in the water in his pool, announced that he had to change because his pant legs had gotten wet, and returned wearing a wide open bathrobe.

"I thought, I'm doomed," the woman told the Washington Post. "I was completely panicked. In retrospect, I thought of a million things I could have done."

The woman told the newspaper she started talking about abuse of power and Rose "lost it," and said Rose tried to put a hand down her pants. She said while her memory of how it happened is "hazy," she ended up in bed with Rose and was "crying the entire time."

Rose said that he has 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.''

Rose's interview show was seen in 94 percent of the country on PBS stations. It is rebroadcast on Bloomberg's cable network, which also announced Monday it was suspending the show. He interviews a wide circle of people in the media, politics and entertainment _ this month including Harvard President Drew Faust, rapper Macklemore and the Post's Robert Costa, who talked about that paper's sexual harassment investigation of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Despite his age and heart troubles in the past, Rose had been one of the busiest figures in television.

Two hours after the Post story went online, Brittain tweeted that "sadly, my inbox is already flooded with women who have had similar, disturbing encounters with Charlie Rose.''

Of Rose's PBS show, Brittain said: "He owns the show. There is no human resources department in the Charlie Rose show. Many of these women said that even if they wanted to file an official complaint, they wouldn't even know who to go to."

The Post quoted Yvette Vega, his longtime executive producer, as saying she failed and deeply regretted not helping women who complained about his behavior.

But it apparently was a poorly-kept secret in the industry. Two former employees interviewed by the Post said young women hired by the show were known as "Charlie's Angels.'' A Post contributing writer who worked on the story said she was reporting on some of the allegations while working at another news organization in 2010 but could not confirm them.

Stories of sexual misconduct have been coming in a flood since The New York Times first reported on Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's behavior in early October. Even on Monday, the Times suspended White House reporter Glenn Thrush while it looked into a story about him making drunken, unwanted advances on women. In the news business alone, NBC political reporter Mark Halperin and top National Public Radio news executive Michael Oreskes have lost their jobs.

Interviewed last April outside a Time magazine gala, Rose was asked by The Associated Press about Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, who lost his job when it was revealed his network had paid millions of dollars to settle claims women had made against him.

"All of the cases that raise the issue of sexual harassment, which is a terrible thing, (and) has probably been not exposed enough,'' Rose said. "Not enough in the sense of the attention in the past, so that people were afraid to come forward. I think people are coming forward now.''

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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