Gayle King On Charlie Rose Sexual Assault Allegations: “No One Gets A Pass”

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CBS This Morning anchors Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King were objective and frank Tuesday (Nov. 21), as they delivered the news of co-host  Charlie Rose’s sexual assault allegations. Gayle shared her feelings on the matter, saying she nor anyone from CBS will defend the 75-year-old’s  troubling behavior.

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“I really am still reeling. I got an hour and 42 minutes of sleep last night,” she said to O’Donnell. “Both my son and my daughter called me, Oprah called me and said, ‘Are you OK?’ I am not OK. After reading that article in the Post, it was deeply disturbing, troubling and painful for me to read. That said, I think we have to make this matter to women – the women that have spoken up, the women who have not spoken up because they’re afraid. I’m hoping that now they will take the step to speak out, too. This becomes a moment of truth.”

King has worked with the veteran journalist for five years. Rose, known for his award-winning reporting on international as well as domestic affairs, was brought on the morning show to widen the audience. He’s been apart of CBS for over 40 years, with his contributions for 60 Minutes and his own series, The Charlie Rose Show.

CREDIT: Getty Images

On Monday (Nov. 20), The Washington Post published accounts by eight women who claimed to receive unwanted advances by Rose. The details included groping, walking around in naked in front of assistants and lewd phone calls. Because the women worked under Rose’s company, they were unable to speak to Human Resources under CBS. A number of the women confided in Rose’s executive producer Yvette Vega and others who made jokes about the matter saying, “That’s just Charlie being Charlie.”

Rose released a carefully-worded statement, disputing some of the claims.

“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,” he said.” I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken. All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives.”

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King said she plans to speak to Rose about the allegations. She also shared how she is struggling with the news.

“You know, I’ve enjoyed a friendship and a partnership with Charlie for the past five years. I’ve held him in such high regard and I’m really struggling because how do you – what do you say when someone that you deeply care about has done something that is so horrible?” she said. “How do you wrap your brain around that? I’m really grappling with that. That said, Charlie does not get a pass here. He doesn’t get a pass from anyone in this room. We are all deeply affected. We are all rocked by this.

I also find that you can hold two ideas in your head at the same time, you can grapple with things. And I’m, to be very honest with you, I’m still trying to process all of this. I’m still trying to sort it out because this is not the man I know, but I’m also clearly on the side of the women who have been very hurt and very damaged by this,” King said.

Rose was suspended after the allegations came to light, with his shows pulled from both CBS and Bloomberg. Because the allegations were all by employees of Rose’s company, it is unclear if the suspension will turn into an actual termination.

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UPDATE: 11/21/17 12:35 pm EST 

CBS has decided to fire Charlie Rose. A statement issued to employees was shared on Twitter Tuesday morning.