New Report Details "Decades-Long" Culture of Sexual Harassment by Charlie Walk
Five women have accused the record exec of sexual misconduct in a new exposé by Rolling Stone.
Republic Records president and former The Four judge Charlie Walk has been accused of sexual misconduct by five women who worked for his company in a recent Rolling Stone report. Walk — who was previously accused of sexual harassment in an open letter posted on the official site of Life Lab by founder Tristan Coopersmith, a former Walk employee at Columbia Records — has since been put on leave by Republic and fired from Fox's singing competition show The Four.
In the new report, details of alleged harassment from several former employees of Walk show a pattern of abuse over a period of decades. Such behavior included groping a female employee under her underwear while in a crowded car, sending inappropriate unsolicited pictures of himself to employees, making lewd comments to female employees and exposing himself.
Walk denied the claims to Rolling Stone, as he had in the past in an open letter of his own to ET Online, saying, "I did not do these things and this is not who I am. Throughout my career I have always sought to conduct myself professionally and appropriately. It is upsetting to be presented with false claims from long ago that I know to be untrue and were never reported. I support the national discussion taking place right now because I believe fully in the importance in treating everyone with respect and dignity at all times."
Commonalities between Walk's alleged victims include women in their early 20s who worked in low-level positions and were new to the industry. Kate Harold, who was Walk's assistant at Columbia Records in 2006, recalls an incident in which she attended a dinner with Walk and a number of his business associates. She excused herself to use the restroom and, when exiting, was confronted by Walk who "was standing right outside the restroom alone" and then "forced his lips on mine with a quick, hard kiss and then rubbed his crotch up against me, letting me basically feel that he had an erection."
Other accounts from women who remained anonymous or used a pseudonym detailed encounters in which Walk "was very uncomfortably close...as he was talking to me, his hand moved from my neck and shoulder down my back to my ass," as well as Walk exposing his penis and sending pictures of his penis to the women.
Republic Records is investigating the allegations made against Walk. "Republic Records is committed to a safe workplace environment where employees are treated fairly and respectfully," the company said in a statement. "We have retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation of this matter and have encouraged anyone who has relevant information to speak to the firm's investigators. Mr. Walk has been placed on leave, and will remain on leave for the duration of the investigation."
Walk's reps did not immediately respond to a request for comment.