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Four More Women Accuse Republic’s Charlie Walk of Sexual Harassment

Republic Group president Charlie Walk has been accused of sexual harassment by four more women in a new Rolling Stone report published Thursday (Feb. 22).

Republic Group president Charlie Walk has been accused of sexual harassment by four more women in a new Rolling Stone report published Thursday (Feb. 22). 

In the article, five women speak out against Walk — including Tristan Coopersmith, who last month published an open letter alleging the exec of sexual misconduct — claiming he made sexual comments, sent unsolicited and sexually explicit messages, exposed his penis and touched them inappropriately in private and during work meetings. The women were all in their early 20s and new to the music industry when they said the harassment occurred. 

In one account, when Pam Kaye was a regional promotion manager for Columbia Records, she details Walk putting his hand down the front of her pants while the two were riding in a car with other staff members following a meeting. The alleged incident, she said, followed seven years frequent sexual harassment and inappropriate touching from Walk. During that time, she also claimed he stuck his tongue in her ear, exposed his penis to her, threw her onto a couch in his office and lay on top of her and try to kiss her, and more. According to Kaye and 14 other people interviewed by Rolling Stone, this kind of behavior by Walk was an “open secret” in the industry. 

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The new claims follow Coopersmith’s open letter from last month that said Walk would make “lewd comments” about her body and share his sexual fantasies with her while she was his employee. She also alleged he groped her by placing his hand on her upper thigh during dinners and even once drunkenly, during an event being held at his home, pushed her into his bedroom and onto his bed. 

In the week following Coppersmith’s allegations, Walk denied the claims but was placed on leave at Republic and opted to skip the season-finale taping of The Four, on which he is a judge. Meanwhile, his lawyers have threatened legal action against Bob Lefsetz over subsequent anonymous allegations published in industry newsletter Lefsetz Letter. Universal Music Group (UMG) also announced it had enlisted Collazo Florentino & Keil LLP to conduct a review of the allegations, but as of yet has not announced any results. 

Walk denied all the allegations in Rolling Stone‘s article. “I did not do these things and this is not who I am,” he told the magazine in a statement. “Throughout my career I have always sought to conduct myself professionally and appropriately. It is upsetting to be presented with false claims from long ago that I know to be untrue and were never reported. I support the national discussion taking place right now because I believe fully in the importance in treating everyone with respect and dignity at all times.”

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When Kate Harold was Walk’s executive assistant, she said he would sexually harass her daily and make inappropriate gestures. She recalled a dinner that Walk invited her to and she attended feeling like she could not say no to her boss, where he allegedly forced a kiss on her outside the restaurant bathroom and then rubbed his crotch on her so she could feel he had an erection. That incident followed what Harold called a year of “torture” by Walk, where he would allegedly wink at her, blow kisses, suggestively lick his lips and massage his body in front of her. 

Another woman called Emily, whose name was been changed to protect her privacy, said that while she worked in the marketing department at Republic during her 20s, Walker began following her private Instagram account and making “weird comments” to co-workers about how much he liked her posts. After she was laid off, Emily said she messaged Walk on Snapchat when she noticed they were both in Los Angeles, hoping to connect for some career guidance. She said he replied inviting her to the Wilshire Hotel, sending a photo of himself in his underwear and a video of himself with his hand inside his underwear and part of his penis exposed. Later that year, during a meet-and-greet for an artist they were both working with, Emily said he objectified her to another Republic staff member, saying, “Look at her. Isn’t she so hot? I can finally say it now that she doesn’t work for us.”

As well, Melanie — who also asked that her name be changed — said she felt as if a 2014 one-on-one job interview with Walk was based solely on her physical appearance. Less than two weeks later, during a mixer between Republic and Island Records staff, she said Walk put his arm around her in front of numerous Island executives and whispered in her ear, trying to lure her away from the job she held at Island. She said that while he was speaking to her “very uncomfortably close,” he moved his hand from “my neck and shoulder down my back to my ass.” (Uncomfortable, she left soon after.) Melanie said that Walk’s behavior continued in regular meetings between staff at the two labels, where he would “blatantly flirt” with her, touching her leg and resting his hands on her shoulders. 

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UMG responded to Billboard‘s request for comment with the statement it issued last month following Coopersmith’s allegations: “Republic Records is committed to a safe workplace environment where employees are treated fairly and respectfully. We have retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation of this matter and have encouraged anyone who has relevant information to speak to the firm’s investigators. Mr. Walk has been placed on leave, and will remain on leave for the duration of the investigation.”

Billboard could not reach Walk’s rep at time of publishing. 

Read the full Rolling Stone article here