Women Sue Charlie Rose and CBS, Alleging Harassment

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Three women who worked with Charlie Rose at CBS News sued the network and former talk show host in NY state court Friday, accusing him of repeatedly making sexual advances and then firing two of them for speaking publicly about his alleged misconduct. Rose sexually harassed them and that managers knew about complaints against him before November, when he was sacked.

The lawsuit also alleges Rose asked Harris and McNeal to share details of their sex lives, "boasted of his own sexual conquests" and suggested the two women should engage in a sexual relationship with each other.

CBS said in a statement, "We will vigorously defend against the allegations pertaining to CBS News and Mr. Kadro".

The plaintiffs in Friday's lawsuit - Katherine Harris, Sydney McNeal and Yuqing Wei - worked in different capacities for Rose previous year while he was a co-host for CBS This Morning, according to the complaint.

His PBS interview show was canceled. The three women are represented by Kenneth Goldberg of Goldberg Fliegel, who could not be reached for comment Friday. The lawsuit also accuses CBS executives of failing to warn the employees about Rose's history of sexual misconduct.

The Post published a follow-up report this week that revealed an additional 27 accusers who said Rose had acted inappropriately toward them, including groping their bodies and making lewd sexual remarks, among other acts.

He also whispered, "Happy birthday, dear" into her ear in a sexual manner, the lawsuit states.

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The Washington Post said that on least three occasions prior to that, women reported discomfort about Rose's actions to superiors.

In one case, the lawsuit alleges, he referred to Wei as a "China Doll" and used an expletive while calling her an "idiot" for booking a flight that did not have flat folding seats.

They also claim CBS "unlawfully retaliated" against one of them and that the company "failed to investigate the matter". She told a senior producer about it and said she didn't want to be alone with Rose, and said her boss laughed and said, "Fine, you don't have to be alone with him anymore". The lawsuit says that Wei's health suffered as a result of her experience with CBS. Ms. Wei has been on medical leave since March, the suit said.

"Mr. Rose openly engaged in unlawful sexual harassment against Plaintiffs during business hours, at the CBS Studios, at Charlie Rose Studios, as well as offsite", the lawsuit states.

In the following three decades, three CBS managers had been made aware of the complaints, according to the Post investigation.

Eleanor McManus, co-founder of Press Forward, a group of women who have been victims of sexual misconduct in newsrooms, said the Post report illustrated a systematic problem across news organizations that needed to be addressed.