Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell Respond to Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Co-Host Charlie Rose

Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell

CBS This Morning co-hosts Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell spoke honestly and openly today as they addressed the suspension of fellow co-host Charlie Rose after news broke yesterday eight women have accused him of sexual misconduct.

“This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and, more generally, the safety of women,” said O’Donnell. “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 will continue to do that. This I know is true: women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or in society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility.”

King was clearly upset by the allegations. She said, “I am not okay. After reading that article in The Washington 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 up, too, that this becomes a moment of truth.”

On Monday, The Washington Post published a detailed report revealing eight women, who were involved in Rose’s PBS show between the late 1990s to 2011, allege they were groped by Rose, he walked around naked in front of them, and made lewd phone calls to them.

CBS immediately suspended Rose, as did PBS and Bloomberg, two other outlets for whom Rose works.

Rose apologized for his alleged behavior in a statement to The Washington Post: “In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked. Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues. 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. I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will too. 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.”

Watch King and O’Donnell’s responses below: