CBS News resolves lawsuit with women who sued over Charlie Rose allegations

By Graham Kates

/ CBS News

Moonves accused of destroying evidence

Three women who sued CBS News and former "CBS This Morning" anchor Charlie Rose have resolved their claims against the company, according to a filing made in a Manhattan court late Friday. Legal proceedings against Rose are ongoing.

The lawsuit was filed May 4 by three women who were hired either by CBS News or for Rose's PBS show when they were in their early 20s. The lawsuit accused Rose of "blatant and repeated sexual harassment" and CBS News of "unlawful retaliation" and failing to investigate complaints related to Rose.

"The matter has been resolved," said a CBS News spokesperson, adding that the settlement amount is being kept confidential at the plaintiffs' request.

In May, the day before the lawsuit was filed, The Washington Post published a report in which 27 women,including the three women who sued,accused Rose of sexual harassment.

Two of the women, Katherine Brooks Harris and Sydney McNeal, said in the suit that Rose told them "they were hired because he likes 'tall women,' i.e., he was attracted to them." Harris and McNeal said Rose repeatedly asked them "about their sex lives and directed them to share details with him." The third woman, Yuqing "Chelsea" Wei, said Rose referred to her "as China doll," which the lawsuit called a "fetish term."

CBS News filed a motion in August seeking a dismissal of the claims filed against it. In its motion, CBS News said Harris was working for the Charlie Rose show at the time of the harassment and was not a CBS employee. The motion claimed McNeal had never been a CBS employee.

In a motion to dismiss filed by Rose on September 7, he said the women suing him were "exploiting the #MeToo Movement."

"None of the three plaintiffs alleges a cognizable claim of gender discrimination, harassment or retaliation," the motion said.

Rose was fired from "CBS This Morning" in November 2017 and his PBS show was canceled. When allegations first surfaced against Rose, he apologized for "inappropriate behavior" but claimed some allegations were inaccurate.

A spokesperson for Rose did not immediately return an email seeking comment on the settlement.

First published on December 11, 2018

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Graham Kates

Graham Kates is an investigative reporter covering criminal justice, privacy issues and information security for CBSNews.com.

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