MANHATTAN (CN) – On the heels of more than two dozen women making further accusations of sexual harassment against Charlie Rose, one current and two former CBS News employees sued the anchor and his former network Friday.
The complaint – filed in New York County Supreme Court by former CBS employees Katherine Harris and Sydney McNeal, as well as current employee Yuqing Wei – alleges the network knew about Rose’s long history of sexual misconduct around young female coworkers but did nothing to stop it.
Harris and McNeal also claim the network fired them after news broke about Rose’s alleged misbehavior. The three women are represented by Kenneth Goldberg of Goldberg Fliegel, who could not be reached for comment Friday.
Dozens of women have accused Rose of sexually harassing them while he worked at CBS, many of whom came forward after a November 2017 article in the Washington Post alleging various lewd actions by the journalist.
After the bombshell story, Rose admitted to some of the allegations but has claimed there was no wrongdoing.
In a statement in November, Rose said that he was “greatly embarrassed” by the reports but that he “always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”
Friday’s lawsuit is likely to be the first of several.
Harris claims she was wined and dined by Rose while working as a broadcast associate for one of the CBS morning shows, discussing potential job opportunities for Harris at “60 Minutes” or on Rose’s eponymous show.
Rose then sent her an “offer letter” in April 2017, which stated, “I want you to be at the center of my professional world” and “you help me get through the day,” according to the complaint.
Rose later allegedly told Harris he hired her because he liked “tall women,” kissed her on the cheek, placed his hands on her thighs, and demanded she come to his apartment late at night.
On one occasion, according to the lawsuit, Rose also ordered Harris and McNeal to visit him at his home and told them, “I better not hear any stories about two young women swimming naked together” in his pool.
Rose allegedly made similar advances to Wei, including calling her “China doll” and caressing her arms when she handed him papers.
He also whispered, “Happy birthday, dear” into her ear in a sexual manner, the lawsuit states.
The three women claim Rose had a nasty side, berating them for booking the incorrect flights and calling them idiots.
On one occasion, Rose allegedly screamed at Harris, “I didn’t know that I hired a fucking kindergartner.”
Rose was suspended and later fired by CBS after the Post story broke.
In return, Rose then fired Harris and McNeal, both of whom were working directly for him, the complaint states, and they were not offered new positions with CBS.
Rose then contacted Wei, who was an anchor assistant on “CBS This Morning” at the time, telling her, “My relationship with you is the man I am in all my relationships,” according to the complaint.
Wei says she then filed a complaint with CBS human resources that went unanswered and was later reassigned to an entry level position by the network, which had questioned the accuracy of her time sheets.
Wei has since taken medical leave from the network.
CBS did not provide immediate comment on the lawsuit Friday.
The network has reportedly hired the law firm Proskauer Rose to help investigate all the claims against its former anchor.
Rose was sued in 1986 by several women alleging sexual misconduct, which the network settled discreetly. One of the plaintiffs in that 1986 lawsuit, Beth Homan-Ross, said of working with Rose, “It was a sexual land mine everywhere you stepped.”
In the following three decades, three CBS managers had been made aware of the complaints, according to the Post investigation.
The Post has since reported that a total 35 women have come forward with allegations against Rose, whom one former intern reportedly said “falls toward the worst end of the spectrum” of sexual harassment.