CBS News has hired an outside law firm to investigate sexual harassment and misconduct as 27 new accusers made allegations against former anchor Charlie Rose.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that three CBS News managers were made aware of harassment allegations against Rose, which span more than three decades. The Post reported that 27 women, 14 of whom worked at CBS News, accused Rose of sexual harassment. In 1986, a 22-year-old CBS News employee said she told a senior producer, whom she did not name, that Rose had allegedly made lewd comments. The Post reports that CBS News managers were made aware of other alleged instances of sexual harassment again in 2011 and April 2017.
Rose told the Post: “Your story is unfair and inaccurate.”
Two top executives – including CBS News President David Rhodes – told the Post they didn’t know about accusations against the former CBS This Morning anchor until they were first reported in November 2017.
A CBS News spokesperson said in a statement sent to TIME that the company has “worked to strengthen existing systems to ensure a safe environment,” but said it could not “corroborate or confirm” many allegations in the Post report.
On Thursday, Rhodes, who took over CBS News in 2011, sent an internal note — provided to TIME — in response to the Post article that outlines the steps the network has taken to “ensure a safe and respectful environment.” Rhodes said that the company hired Proskauer Rose LLP, which investigated sexual misconduct allegations at WNYC, to help with its investigation. He also said that the network instituted mandatory sexual misconduct training and created a working group to address the company’s reporting and handling of sexual harassment.
CBS News and PBS both fired Rose in November 2017 after the Post reported that eight women, all of whom worked or hoped to work on his PBS show, accused him of sexual harassment. At the time, Rose said that he “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.”