A makeup artist who worked for television personality Charlie Rose for 22 years is suing him for sexual harassment, saying he created a toxic work environment where women were sexually harassed, dominated and diminished, according to court documents filed on Thursday.
Gina G. Riggi says Rose routinely ridiculed her physical appearance and made inappropriate remarks about her weight, often humiliating her in front of her friends and colleagues.
“Throughout the workday, and at work events, Mr. Rose routinely groped and pawed at his female staff, pressed himself against them, kissed them, pulled them toward him, whispered in their ears, stared at their breasts, looked down their shirts, and otherwise subjected them to inappropriate and unwanted physical contact,” according to the lawsuit. “Mr. Rose commented on their physical appearance, asked inappropriate questions about their personal and romantic lives, and barraged them with late-night phone calls. In many instances … he made explicit sexual overtures.”
Rose’s lawyer, Jonathan Bach, told CNN that Rose “vehemently denies and will vigorously contest these allegations.”
“Among other things,” Bach said, “the allegations in the complaint are completely inconsistent with written statements made by the plaintiff to Mr. Rose, including ‘I love working for you at your show, and would love to be part of any show that you host’, ‘I consider it an honor to be a member of your team,’ and ‘hope to see you more often! Please stop by anytime (smiling emoji).”
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in New York and also names Bloomberg LP because Rose’s show was filmed in Bloomberg’s studios.
“At no time was the plaintiff an employee of ours,” Bloomberg spokesman Ty Trippet told CNN. “We understand that the plaintiff was a contractor of Charlie Rose Inc., and given that they operated independently of us, any of her compensation would have been handled solely by Charlie Rose Inc.”
‘We have no records of any complaint,” Trippet added.
Rose was fired from CBS News and PBS in 2017, one day after The Washington Post published a story about alleged harassment, based on interviews with eight women who described “unwanted sexual advances.”
He was the co-host of “CBS This Morning” and was also a “60 Minutes” correspondent.
At the time, Rose said in a statement that he “deeply apologized” for what he admitted was “inappropriate behavior.”
Riggi worked as the head makeup artist for the “Charlie Rose Show” and “Charlie Rose: The Week,” but also worked at various television shows and handled makeup for high-profile individuals, according to court documents.
She worked on “Saturday Night Live,” “60 Minutes,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America” and other television programs, according to court documents.
She also provided makeup for President Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, among others.
Riggi also alleges Rose used the Bloomberg studio where he recorded his show as a “sexual hunting ground.”
Rose “preyed upon his female staff,” according to the suit, adding he targeted young women who were just starting their careers, luring them to drinks and dinner in the guise of a career advice meeting.
“But, far from being an advocate for their careers, Mr. Rose treated them as sexual targets, using his power and influence to serve his personal desires,” according to the lawsuit.
CNN’s Lauren del Valle contributed to this report.