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Charlie Rose and CBS named in sexual harassment lawsuit

Rose suggested that two of the plaintiffs begin a sexual relationship, saying, "You just need to become lovers already," the suit says.
Image: Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose attends New York Magazine's 50th anniversary celebration at Katz's Delicatessen in New York on Oct. 24.Andy Kropa / Invision/AP file

Three women who worked for former CBS News television anchor Charlie Rose filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the once-respected journalist on Friday, accusing him of crude comments and inappropriate touching.

The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, is apparently the first such suit filed against Rose, 76, after The Washington Post in November reported harassment complaints from eight women whom he or the companies he worked for employed. The suit also names CBS News as a defendant.

Numerous examples of harassment are listed in the lawsuit, filed by three women in their 20s. Two, Katherine Harris and Sydney McNeal, were formerly employed by Charlie Rose Inc., Rose's production company, and the third, Yuqing Wei, works for CBS.

The three women contend that Rose boasted about his sex life and asked them numerous questions about their own. He also suggested that Harris and McNeal begin a sexual relationship with each other, saying, "You just need to become lovers already," the suit says.

The suit says Rose called Wei "China Doll" and claims that he would caress her arms when she handed him papers and say, "I love the way you do that."

The suit states that Rose engaged in these acts during business hours at CBS Studios, Charlie Rose Studios and outside those businesses.

The lawsuit comes only one day after The Washington Post published another investigative report that found 27 additional women who accused Rose of harassment. According to the Post, women reported Rose's conduct to managers at CBS multiple times over decades.

CBS News management told the newspaper on Thursday that it did not know about Rose's actions during his employment there.

Rose worked as a co-host on "CBS This Morning" and as a reporter on "60 Minutes," CBS' newsmagazine show. He also operated a show on PBS that carried his namesake. After the allegations surfaced, he was fired.

Wei, who works as an assistant, said she reported her concerns to "CBS This Morning" executive producer Ryan Kadro, the lawsuit said. She complained that Rose gave her too much attention outside the office and told the producer, "I'm telling you in case you have a lawsuit on your hands," according to the court document.

She also accused Kadro of physical harassment, noting an incident where he "kicked and shoved" her chair "with substantial force," intimidating and scaring her.

The lawsuit claimed that complaints against Rose were made to the head of human resources at CBS as well.

Harris and Wei said in the suit that CBS contacted them in March to deter them from pursuing claims against the company.

CBS News did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.