After allegations surfaced Monday that the longtime television host Charlie Rose made crude sexual advances toward multiple women who worked on his show over a dozen years, CBS suspended him from its morning program and PBS announced that it would no longer distribute his long-running nightly interview show.
Eight women, including three who talked on the record, told The Washington Post that he made lewd phone calls to them, walked around naked in front of them or groped them. In addition, two women told The New York Times that he made unwanted advances toward them, trying to kiss them without their permission. The women spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared Mr. Rose’s power over their careers and what some described as his volatile temper.
In a statement, Mr. Rose said he did not believe all the allegations were accurate but also apologized.
“It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that,” he said. “I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”
In one incident, a woman who had applied for a job said that Mr. Rose invited her to his estate in Bellport, N.Y., about 60 miles from New York City, in 2010. That night, he said he needed to change after getting his pants wet in the pool. He returned wearing a white bathrobe left open in front. Mr. Rose wore nothing underneath, the woman told The Post, and eventually tried to put his hand down her pants.
The woman, speaking on condition of anonymity because she found the experience so traumatic, also described the incident to The Times. In an interview, she said that after sitting by the pool, they went to his bedroom. She said she wept as Mr. Rose tried to put his hand between her legs.
“Baby, oh baby, why are you crying,” she remembers him saying.
She called it “the most humiliating experience of my life.” In the years since, she said she has felt ashamed, and felt she should have done more to get away. “Why didn’t I hit him? Why didn’t I run inside? I was completely racked with guilt and self-hatred.”
Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, one of Mr. Rose’s assistants in the mid-2000s, told The Post about at least a dozen instances in which Mr. Rose walked nude in front of her while she worked in one of his New York City homes. She also said he repeatedly called her to describe his fantasies of her swimming naked in the Bellport pool as he watched.
“It feels branded into me, the details of it,” Ms. Godfrey-Ryan said.
Reah Bravo, who started working on Mr. Rose’s show in 2007, told The Post that Mr. Rose had groped her in the back seat of a car more than once. While in Indiana for a speaking engagement in 2008, Mr. Rose summoned Ms. Bravo to his hotel room and then emerged naked from the shower, she told The Post.
The allegations about Mr. Rose are only the latest against a series of powerful men, many of them set off when women spoke out for a Times investigation into the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Mr. Rose has been a ubiquitous force on television for decades, launching his interview show “Charlie Rose” in 1991. Getting on the “Charlie Rose” show was a coup — for celebrities, it was a sign they were smart. For more wonky types, it made them celebrities.
The show is produced by Mr. Rose’s independent television production company and distributed nationally by PBS and Bloomberg.
Mr. Rose has also co-anchored “CBS This Morning” since 2012. Although many people in the industry initially questioned CBS’s decision to put a then-70-year-old into the anchor position along with Gayle King, the show has proved to be enormously successful for the network. CBS executives have taken pride in the program and in what they describe as its harder news approach versus its morning rivals.
Mr. Rose has also worked as a correspondent on “60 Minutes” and substituted as the anchor of “CBS Evening News.” None of the allegations were about Mr. Rose’s behavior at CBS.
Shortly after the news broke Monday, all three media companies associated with Mr. Rose announced disciplinary action.
Representatives from CBS said Mr. Rose was “suspended immediately while we look into this matter.”
Bloomberg TV and PBS both said they would suspend the distribution or airing of “Charlie Rose.” PBS announced that “Charlie Rose” would be replaced on Monday night with “Antiques Roadshow.” The 6 p.m. airing of “Charlie Rose” on Bloomberg was replaced with “Daybreak Asia.”
Current and former employees of the “Charlie Rose” show described an occasionally hostile work environment, with no human-resources department and Mr. Rose essentially running his own fief. Although the show operated out of the Bloomberg building, employees of “Charlie Rose” had little recourse if they had problems.
After Mr. Rose moved his broadcast from the PBS station to the Bloomberg offices, he got rid of many of the senior staff members, former employees said, instead hiring interns as staff members and then recruiting new interns. Eventually, he settled a class-action wage lawsuit filed by former interns.
Even as Mr. Rose hired a lean young staff, he also fostered a work environment in which a personal assistant and some employees worked out of his home instead of the office. The women were often young, just out of college.
Several former employees interviewed by The Times said that while Mr. Rose was often flirtatious, they never saw him exhibit inappropriate behavior.
On Friday morning, Mr. Rose sat with his co-hosts on “CBS This Morning” and introduced a segment on Al Franken, the Minnesota senator accused of forcibly kissing and groping a woman in 2006.
On Monday morning, hours before The Post published its article, he did not appear on the show.