Charlie Rose and his company Charlie Rose Inc have filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought in May by three former CBS employees against him and the network claiming “blatant and repeated” sexual harassment and retaliation by the former CBS This Morning and 60 Minutes newsman.
The filing late Thursday in the New York state Supreme Court comes after fellow defendants CBS News Communications Inc., CBS News Inc. filed similar paperwork seeking dismissal of the case brought by former CBS employees Katherine Brooks Harris, Sydney McNeal and Yuqing “Chelsea” Wei, arguing that the plaintiffs are using the #MeToo movement to “bolster their threadbare and conclusory claims.”
The trio, all in their 20s, were assigned jobs where they were “were required to spend a substantial amount of time working with Mr. Rose,” who is in his mid-70s. Their lawsuit claims Rose “subjected Plaintiffs to repeated, ongoing and unlawful physical and verbal sexual harassment, including without limitation: (a) sexual touching; (b) sexual comments; and (c) sexual advances.” The sued under the New York City Human Rights Law.
Rose’s lawyers said Thursday in a memorandum of law (read it here) that “none of the three Plaintiffs alleges a cognizable claim of gender discrimination, harassment or retaliation against any of the defendants and, thus, both causes of action … fail as a matter of law.”
CBS News fired Rose on November 21 in the wake of multiple accusations of sexual harassment surfaced in the Washington Post. Later that same day, PBS canceled his long-running eponymous interview show.
“Tacitly recognizing the weakness of their factual allegations, Plaintiffs seek to bolster
their threadbare and conclusory claims by exploiting the #MeToo Movement and bootstrapping
the accusations of sexual harassment made by third parties against Rose in articles published by
The Washington Post,” the memorandum said. “Plaintiffs are not alleged to have had any knowledge of a single one of those accusations set forth in the articles. These hearsay accusations do not and cannot supply the missing link to the legally deficient claims.”
CBS is currently conducting an investigation into the accusations against Rose, as well as against current CEO Les Moonves and an alleged inappropriate culture at its CBS News division.