Charlie Rose has been exiled to the hinterlands of the American public landscape — which, in addition to being an appropriate punishment for a pattern of alleged serial sexual misconduct, also relieves us of the burden of having to pay attention to Charlie Rose.
Granted, the important part is that a man who allegedly long preyed upon women he had some degree of power over will almost certainly never be able to exert that power in an untoward manner again.
However, Rose was also an unctuous hypocrite who was covered for by other unctuous hypocrites; although his “womanizing” was an open secret.
Still, he was promoted as the intelligent media consumer’s favorite television host. Which is to say, he was the favorite anchor of every person who’s dropped the sentence, “Oh, there was a story on NPR about that, let me send you the link,” into a conversation.
Rose may be gone, but he’s certainly forgotten. Unfortunately for him, those who haven’t forgotten him are other people he’s allegedly wronged.
A lawsuit by a former makeup artist claims that Rose would repeatedly abuse her — both psychologically and physically — and that she was once forced to defend herself using a hand mirror.
According to Page Six, Gina Riggi, who’s been nominated for an Emmy and has worked with Leonardo DiCaprio and Angelina Jolie, was also unfortunate enough to have worked with Mr. Rose for 22 years as a contractor, first on the “Charlie Rose Show” for PBS and then at “Charlie Rose: The Week,” a joint PBS/Bloomberg production.
In the suit, which was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday, the 62-year-old claims she sustained verbal abuse and violence when she would just so much as touch Rose’s hair or makeup.
At one point, the suit says, Riggi tried to protect herself from him with a hand mirror.
Not only would “Mr. Rose also routinely ridiculed Ms. Riggi’s physical appearance, in particular, making derisive and inappropriate comments about her weight,” he’d also do this in front of other employees, “publicly shaming and humiliating her,” court documents say.
There were also sexual harassment claims made in the suit, because of course there were.
The suit claims one of Rose’s former personal assistants told Riggi she was given Rose’s car, credit cards and a rented apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey, and “in return as a quid pro quo, Mr. Rose asked her to have sex with him and give him massages.”
Riggi said she saw Rose get “handsy” with women in the Bloomberg studio, which she says the host treated as a “hunting ground” for female employees.
She says she heard stories dealing with “Mr. Rose’s sexual overtures; his unwanted touching; his inappropriate comments; his phone calls at all hours of the night; often asking invasive and inappropriate questions about their personal lives; and his verbal and emotional abuse.”
And, in one case, a woman came in to get her makeup touched up simply to get away from Rose, who was allegedly pursuing her.
The suit also claims that Bloomberg dismissed the complaints against Rose as “just Charlie being Charlie.”
“For years, Charlie Rose subjected Ms. Riggi to a toxic, misogynistic work environment, sexually harassing her female co-workers, and demeaning, degrading and belittling her and other women who worked on the show,” Patrick J. Walsh, Riggi’s attorney, said in a statement to USA Today.
His client, he says, “complained to Bloomberg supervisors, who knew about the behavior, but they did nothing to stop it.”
Rose’s alleged physical abuse was not just a small matter, either. The suit claims the host “regularly swatted at her physically as she attempted to comb his hair or adjust his makeup.”
“On one occasion, while taping on location outside of the studio, Rose became upset while Riggi applied his makeup, and forcefully grabbed and twisted her arm, physically hurting her,” the suit says.
Riggi, the court papers say, “resorted to using a large hand mirror as a shield so that Rose could not physically assault her.”
Riggi’s suit is far from the only one against Rose; three former co-workers have said that the host engaged in “blatant and repeated sexual harassment” against “three junior female employees in their 20s.”
Let’s not forget that Rose wasn’t just an interview-show host. This guy was also co-host of “CBS This Morning” as well as a contributor to “60 Minutes.”
And yet, The Washington Post was able to find eight women who came forward to accuse Rose of sexual misconduct in 2017 followed by another 27 in a story done last year.
Charlie Rose was beloved by the media establishment. Surely some of these people knew what was going on.
And what happened? They filed it all under “just Charlie being Charlie.” Here was a liberal allegedly waging his own war on women, and those who could have stopped it apparently just looked away.
If these accusations are indeed substantiated, Riggi deserves a decent chunk of change — and I’d imagine this isn’t the end of this part of Rose’s story but merely the beginning.
He may be in the media hinterlands, but one can guess he’s going to be spending plenty of time in the courts from here on in.
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