Charlie Walk says he will not attend the finale of the Fox singing completion The Four, following numerous claims of sexual misconduct this week.
In a statement provided to Billboard on Wednesday (Jan. 31) evening, Walk said he does not want to be a distraction at the show’s taping on Friday.
While Walk will not participate in The Four‘s season finale, he will appear on Thursday night’s episode, which had already taped before allegations surfaced on Monday.
“Out of respect for the contestants, my fellow judges and everyone involved with the show, I have made the decision not to attend the finale of ‘The Four,'” said Walk. “I do not want my presence to be a distraction. Needless to say this is very upsetting. Although I continue to support the ‘Me Too’ movement, there has been an extreme rush to judgment against me in this particular case which is unfair and inconsistent with anything that even actually happened. I welcome any investigation so that in short order these unfounded and hurtful accusations can be put to rest.”
Fox had no comment.
Walk was placed on a leave of absence by Republic Records earlier on Wednesday, while an independent investigation is conducted by law firm Collazo Florentino & Keil LLP.
On Monday, Tristan Coopersmith, founder of the Southern California wellness studio Life Lab, published an open letter to Walk on her company’s website accusing Walk of making “lewd comments” about her body and sharing his sexual fantasies with her. In it, she also said he groped her by placing his hand on her upper thigh during dinners and even once drunkenly pushed her into his bedroom and onto his bed during an event being held at his home.
Coopersmith did not specify when the alleged incidents occurred, but it appears likely they happened while Walk was president of Sony Music’s Epic Records — a position he held from 2005–2009. Sony Music declined to comment.
On Tuesday, two more women spoke up anonymously with letters published in Bob Lefsetz‘s Lefsetz Letter music industry email newsletter also claiming sexual harassment.