An Emmy-nominated makeup artist used a mirror to keep a constant eye on disgraced broadcast journalist Charlie Rose, who verbally and physically abused her on set of his now-cancelled show, a new lawsuit says.
Gina Riggi, who worked on the PBS show “Charlie Rose: The Week" for more than two decades, accused Rose of “physically accosting her on the set,” including forcefully grabbing and twisting her arm while applying his makeup.
"Mr. Rose subjected her to a pattern of misogynistic, abusive behavior, demeaning, embarrassing and degrading her because of her gender,” says the suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court Thursday against Rose and Bloomberg L.P., which provided the studios for the show and shared its broadcasts with PBS.
PBS and Bloomberg ended their contracts with Rose in 2017 after numerous women complained he had harassed him. At the same time he was also fired from CBS, including his job as a cost hose of CBS This Morning.
Katherine Brooks Harris, Yuqing (Chelsea) Wei and Sydney McNeal — who worked at CBS News between 2016 and 2018 during their 20s — settled a suit filed against Rose and the network last year.
That suit claimed Rose made unwanted advances, including touching McNeal’s thigh and kissing her cheek. He also referred to Wei as “China Doll” before suggesting that Harris and McNeal have sex, the court documents show.
According to Riggi’s suit, Rose targeted young, attractive women who were just starting out in their journalism careers, using the promise of a prestigious job or internship as power over them.
“Mr. Rose treated them as sexual targets, using his power and influence to serve his personal desires,” the suit says, noting that Rose "routinely groped and pawed at his female staff.”
“Despite being a victim of Mr. Rose’s misogynistic abuse herself, Ms. Riggi served as a resource for other female staff, many of whom used her makeup room...as a refuge from Mr. Rose,” the suit adds. “Ms. Riggi felt a maternal, protective instinct toward her younger female colleagues, who often came to her in tears (regarding) Mr. Roses’s unwelcome sexual overtures."
Rose’s lawyer Jonathan Bach told Variety that Rose would vigorously contest the case, and that Riggi had sent Rose friendly messages — including one that said “I love working for you at your show."
Bloomberg, L.P. — which knew about the host’s lewd behavior yet did nothing to protect his accusers, the suit charges — did not respond to request for comment.
“Bloomberg supervisors personally observed Mr. Rose’s behavior on countless occasions, and received numerous complaints from female staff over the years,” the suit claims. “Bloomberg refused to address or remediate it, dismissing it...as ‘Just Charlie being Charlie.’”