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One day after The Washington Post revealed allegations from eight women of what appears to be systemic harassment at the hands of veteran TV journalist Charlie Rose, Megyn Kelly reflected on her own experience with Rose, whom she called a friend.
“I have known Charlie for years. I considered him a friend. I saw him socially from time to time. So this is not a pleasant story for me,” said the NBC News host at the top of Tuesday’s Megyn Kelly Today.
Then she want on to share a story about the time she asked Rose to emcee her first event for her book one year ago (watch below).
“It was supposed to be a celebratory event, discussing the full scope of the book, which is about my life and my career and the lessons learned,” she explained of Settle for More, in which the former Fox News anchor said Ailes made “offers of professional advancement in exchange for sexual favors,” among other claims. “Instead, the exchange felt to me like a cross-examination focused on one issue, the book’s sexual harassment allegations against [former Fox News chief] Roger Ailes. Allegations Ailes denied but which I know are true because I lived it. I felt defensive in the exchange with Charlie and wound up angry about how he handled my book event.”
She then added of Rose, “Obviously, now, his behavior makes more sense.”
Despite the tense exchange, Kelly says she sent Rose a bottle of wine and a thank-you note because she believed it was better to be nice, something she now regrets.
“It’s well past time for us to express our upset, for us to not worry so much about being nice and being liked and being kind and never causing offense,” she said. Adding, “We are in the middle of an empowerment revolution in this country and the only way forward is for women to get comfortable throwing some sharp elbows, making waves and taking risks and holding the powerful to account.”
Kelly’s comments came shortly after Rose’s co-anchors addressed the report on CBS This Morning. Both Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell condemned Rose’s behavior and vowed to cover the story like they would any other.
“Let me be very clear. There is no excuse for this alleged behavior. It is systematic and pervasive and I’ve been doing a lot of listening and I’m going to continue to do that,” said O’Donnell. King added, “Charlie does not get a pass here. He doesn’t get a pass from anyone in this room. We are all affected by this. We are all rocked by this.”
In the Post story, Rose was accused of sexual harassment by eight women, some of whom were former employees, claiming he made unwanted sexual advances toward them that included lewd phone calls, exposing himself and/or groping of their rear ends, breasts and genitals. After the report published Monday, PBS and Bloomberg announced that both companies will stop distributing his nightly show, Charlie Rose, and CBS suspended him from his role as CBS This Morning co-host.
On Tuesday morning, CBS fired Rose over the “extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior.”
Of the allegations, Rose said, in part, “It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”
Nov. 21, 9:30 a.m.: Updated with CBS terminating Rose.
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