A former lead makeup artist who worked with Charlie Rose for over two decades has filed a lawsuit against Rose and Bloomberg L.P., alleging that she suffered years of verbal and physical abuse along with sexual harassment and assault while working for Rose.
Gina Riggi, who began working with Rose in 1995, says that the work environment felt like a “sexual hunting ground,” claiming women who worked for him were groped everywhere they encountered Rose: “at his studio at Bloomberg, at his home in the Hamptons, in airplanes and limousines, at hotels and trendy restaurants,” according to The Washington Post.”
The lawsuit also claims that the abuse was also physical and verbal:
“As a makeup artist, she often found herself in proximity to Rose, touching up his makeup and preparing guests for the cameras. The lawsuit claims he often became agitated during this process, berating her and swatting her hand away. Sometimes, she says, he made derisive comments about her weight in front of other staff members.”
Riggi is one of 28 women who say that Rose harassed them with sexual phone calls, got naked in front of them, and forced them to watch sex scenes in movies with him. In 2017, Rose was fired from his eponymous talk show, which aired on PBS and Bloomberg, after 8 women came forward to accuse him of sexual harassment. In 2018, CBS settled with three women who alleged Rose touched and kissed them without their consent along with referring to them as prostitutes in front of colleagues while he was a co-host for CBS This Morning.
And though Riggi’s story is similar to those of dozens of women who say that Charlie Rose created a nightmarish work environment, Rose’s lawyer, Jonathan Bach is using the fact that Riggi was nice to her boss as proof that he wasn’t a monster:
“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 also claims that when Rose was fired from the show, Riggi was also out of a job without severance or unemployment because Bloomberg misclassified her as an independent contractor.