Three women sued Charlie Rose and CBS on Friday, alleging that they were sexually harassed by the former anchorman while working for him and that the network did nothing to stop it.
On Thursday, The Washington Post published an article that detailed accusations against Mr. Rose by numerous women, including the three who are suing, and alleged that CBS managers knew about harassment complaints against Mr. Rose before he was fired in November.
CBS has said it was not aware of any allegations about Mr. Rose’s behavior before a November article by The Post that detailed accusations from multiple women and led to his firing as a host of “CBS This Morning” and a correspondent for “60 Minutes.” PBS, the longtime home of the “Charlie Rose” interview show, also cut ties with Mr. Rose.
At the time, Mr. Rose expressed “embarrassment” for pursuing what he believed to be “shared feelings” with women who had accused him.
TV networks are under an intense spotlight to explain how they have handled cases of sexual harassment and misconduct. NBC has said it will soon release findings from an internal investigation about what the network knew about the actions of Matt Lauer, who was fired in November as a host of the “Today” show for inappropriate sexual behavior. Top NBC News executives have denied knowing anything about Mr. Lauer’s behavior before an allegation that led to his dismissal.
The lawsuit against Mr. Rose and CBS was filed by three women in their 20s: Katherine Harris and Sydney McNeal, former employees of Mr. Rose, and a current CBS employee, Yuqing Wei, who also goes by Chelsea.
Ms. Harris, who worked at CBS before going to work for Mr. Rose in 2017, and Ms. McNeal, who became his executive assistant last year, said he had inappropriately touched them and repeatedly made sexual remarks. At one point, they said, he told them, “You just need to become lovers already.”
The suit said that when Ms. Harris wore a miniskirt covered in images of roses, he told her “that the roses on her skirt are his roses.” The lawsuit also alleged that Mr. Rose referred to Ms. Wei as “China Doll.”
In the suit, Ms. Wei, an assistant, said she expressed concerns last year to the current executive producer of “CBS This Morning,” Ryan Kadro, about the amount of attention that Mr. Rose lavished on Ms. Harris outside the office. She also claimed that she had told Mr. Kadro, “I’m telling you in case you have a lawsuit on your hands.”
When asked for comment, CBS referred to Mr. Kadro’s comments to The Washington Post, in which he said, “Ms. Wei did not tell me about inappropriate behavior by Charlie Rose towards Ms. Harris at any time.” He also said, “Regarding the question about suggesting there would be a ‘lawsuit’ — I don’t believe she used that word.”
CBS said in a statement, “We will vigorously defend against the allegations pertaining to CBS News and Mr. Kadro.”
Mr. Rose did not respond to an email and a phone call seeking comment.
The suit also accuses Mr. Kadro of harassment, saying that at one point last year he “kicked and shoved Ms. Wei’s chair with substantial force, startling, intimidating and scaring Ms. Wei.” It alleges that Ms. Wei went to CBS’s human relations department to complain about Mr. Rose and Mr. Kadro shortly after Mr. Rose was fired.
“CBS never got back to Ms. Wei about her complaint,” the suit said.
The suit claims that the network reached out to Ms. Wei and Ms. Harris in March “to deter plaintiffs from pursuing claims.” Ms. Wei has been on medical leave since March, the suit said.
In an email sent to CBS staff on Thursday, the network’s president, David Rhodes, provided an update on some of the measures that it is taking to create a safe work environment.
“We will continue our accounting for what has happened here before,” he wrote, “and we will be the best place to do what we do in the future — I know we can be.”