A makeup artist who worked for Charlie Rose for 22 years has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, accusing the former CBS and PBS host of years of unlawful behavior toward female employees.
Gina Riggi alleges that Rose was verbally abusive with her and would often make derogatory comments about her weight. She also alleges that she witnessed years worth of sexually harassing behavior directed at younger female employees.
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“Throughout the workday, and at work events, Mr. Rose routinely groped and pawed at his female staff, pressed himself against them, hugged them, kissed them, pulled them toward him, whispered in their ears, stared at their breasts, looked down their shirts, and otherwise subjected them to inappropriate and unwanted physical contact,” the suit alleges.
Three other female employees filed suit against Rose and CBS last year, saying that Rose habitually made sexual comments, touched their legs, and demeaned their abilities. CBS settled with the plaintiffs last year, but the case is proceeding against Rose.
Rose was fired from his job as co-host of “CBS This Morning” in November 2017, after the Washington Post documented years of harassment complaints against him. PBS also canceled his long-running interview show.
Riggi filed suit on Thursday evening against Rose and Bloomberg LP. Rose’s talk show was produced in Bloomberg’s studio.
Riggi alleges that female staffers would take refuge in her makeup room and the nearby green room to get away from Rose. She says that women would complain to her about Rose’s behavior, dating back to the 1990s.
She says that Rose would use the lure of a job opportunity to get women to have dinner with him. She alleges that he called his young female employees “Charlie’s Angels,” and used the Bloomberg studio as his “sexual hunting ground.”
She also alleges that Rose would swat her hand when she was trying to apply his makeup, and once twisted her arm in anger.
The suit also alleges that Riggi was misclassified as an independent contractor and denied certain employment benefits.
Update: Jonathan Bach, an attorney for Rose, says that Rose denies the allegations. Bach also quotes friendly messages from Riggi to Rose:
“Mr. Rose vehemently denies and will vigorously contest these allegations,” Bach said. “Among other things, the allegations in the complaint are completely inconsistent with written statements made by the plaintiff to Mr. Rose, including ‘I love working for you at your show, and would love to be part of any show that you host,’ ‘I consider it an honor to be a member of your team,’ and ‘hope to see you more often! Please stop by any time.'”