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Makeup Artist: I Used Mirror as a Shield Against Charlie Rose

Gina Riggi hits 77-year-old with lawsuit, claiming sexual harassment, 'abusive behavior'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2019 9:00 AM CDT
In this April 13, 2017, file photo, Charlie Rose attends a party in New York.   (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – New troubles for Charlie Rose, this time from his former longtime makeup artist. USA Today and the Washington Post report on a complaint filed by 62-year-old Gina Riggi, who says she worked as an independent contractor for Rose for more than 20 years and was subjected to "a pattern of misogynistic, abusive behavior" in a "toxic work environment suffused with sexual harassment and gender-based abuse," per the suit. Riggi says this harassment took place when she did his makeup for the Charlie Rose show and Charlie Rose: The Week, which were both shot at a Bloomberg studio—what Riggi says was a "sexual hunting ground" (she's also suing Bloomberg). Her suit says Rose "bullied, demeaned, and harassed" her, as well as female colleagues, and that Bloomberg supervisors "did nothing to stop it" when they got wind of the reported behavior.

And Riggi says the alleged harassment wasn't just limited to the studio: Her complaint claims Rose, now 77, would also ogle female staffers' breasts, push up against them, and grope them at his home in the Hamptons, at restaurants and hotels, and while on planes and in limos. Riggi recalls one incident in which she says she had to fight him off with one of the tools of her trade. "On one occasion, while taping on location outside of the studio, Rose became upset while Riggi applied his makeup, and forcefully grabbed and twisted her arm, physically hurting her," the suit notes. Riggi "resorted to using a large hand mirror as a shield so that Rose could not physically assault her." A Bloomberg rep says it received "no complaints" at the time. Rose's spokesperson, meanwhile, says in a statement that "Mr. Rose vehemently denies and will vigorously contest these allegations." (Read more Charlie Rose stories.)

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