Charlie Rose wants to dismiss a lawsuit brought against him for “blatant and repeated” sexual harassment during his tenure at CBS. He’s arguing the suit doesn’t hold up — and suggests the three women who came forward with the charges are only suing because of the momentum behind the #MeToo movement.
This is his first public action against the suit, which was filed in May by former CBS employees Katherine Brooks Harris, Sydney McNeal, and Yuqing “Chelsea” Wei. The three women, all in their 20s, say Rose subjected them to “ongoing and unlawful physical and verbal sexual harassment” when they worked with him, including touching, lewd comments, and sexual advances.
In the motion, Rose’s lawyers say there’s no legal case to be made, because there isn’t enough evidence of gender discrimination, harassment, or retaliation from Rose against Harris, McNeal, and Wei.
They say that instead, Harris, McNeal, and Wei are attempting to evoke the #MeToo movement to strengthen their suit. While maintaining Rose’s innocence, his lawyers argue the trio is trying to refer to other claims against Rose for the benefit of their case.
“Tacitly recognizing the weakness of their factual allegations, Plaintiffs seek to bolster their threadbare and conclusory claims by exploiting the #MeToo Movement and bootstrapping the accusations of sexual harassment made by third parties against Rose in articles published by The Washington Post,” the motion says. “Plaintiffs are not alleged to have had any knowledge of a single one of those accusations set forth in the articles. These hearsay accusations do not and cannot supply the missing link to the legally deficient claims.”
Through various investigations by Post published in the last year, more than 30 women have accused Rose of sexual misconduct in the workplace over a span of nearly four decades. Rose has denied the claims, telling the Post that the allegations levied against him — all of them — are “unfair and inaccurate.”
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).