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Charlie Rose's Longtime Makeup Artist Sues Him For Sexual Harassment & Gender-Based Abuse

Charlie Rose attends the Paley Center for Media. Inset, Gina Riggi.
Source: Shutterstock; Courtesy of Gina Riggi/ Instagram

Sep. 20 2019, Updated 9:40 p.m. ET

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Charlie Rose's longtime makeup artist is suing the disgraced talk show host, claiming he created a “toxic work environment suffused with sexual harassment and gender-based abuse,” according to documents obtained by

In the filing, Gina Riggi who worked for Rose for more than two decades on his self-titled talk shows, claims he subjected her to “a pattern of misogynistic, abusive behavior, demeaning, embarrassing and degrading her because of her gender.”

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The 62-year-old says Rose not only verbally and sexually harassed her and other women on the show, but physically abused her while she was doing his makeup.

"On one occasion, while taping on location outside of the studio, Mr. Rose became upset while Ms. Riggi applied his makeup, and forcefully grabbed and twisted her arm, physically hurting her,” the complaint alleges. “Eventually, when doing ‘Last Looks’ or adjusting Mr. Rose's makeup, Ms. Riggi resorted to using a large hand mirror as a shield so that Mr. Rose could not physically assault her."

Rose, 77, also allegedly made fun of her weight.

"Mr. Rose also routinely ridiculed Ms. Riggi's physical appearance, in particular, making derisive and inappropriate comments about her weight. Mr. Rose often made these comments to Ms. Riggi in front of other staff."

As has reported, Rose was fired from his job as co-anchor of CBS This Morning after multiple women accused him of making “unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.”

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In a bombshell report in The Washington Post, the women ranged in age from 21 to 37 at the time of the alleged encounters.

In her lawsuit, Riggi refers to Rose’s studio as a “sexual hunting ground.”

"Throughout the workday, and at work events, Mr. Rose routinely groped and pawed at his female staff, pressed himself against them, hugged 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,” the suit alleges. “Mr. Rose commented on their physical appearance, asked inappropriate questions about their personal and romantic lives, and barraged them with late-night phone calls.”

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Rose allegedly targeted young, attractive women just beginning their journalism careers, dangling internships and jobs to lure them to "interviews" and "career discussions" with him, often over drinks and dinner, according to the documents obtained by

“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. In many instances, he never offered these women any employment at all.”

Riggi is asking for financial damages among other items, “injury, impairment and damage to her good name and reputation, emotional distress, mental anguish, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, lasting embarrassment and humiliation, and other pecuniary and non-pecuniary losses.”



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