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More women speak out against Charlie Walk

By | Published on Friday 23 February 2018

Charlie Walk

Rolling Stone says it has spoken to fifteen people who have alleged sexual misconduct by American record label exec Charlie Walk. Five of those have spoken on record about their experiences for a newly published article, widening the allegations against him.

Among the new women to come forward, Pam Kaye says that during a seven year period working for Walk at Sony’s Columbia label, she had to fend off many unwanted advances from him. On one occasion in 2004, she says, he forced his hand into her underwear while they were travelling in a car together.

“He took his hand and put it down the front of my pants”, she says. “I had to subtly try to get his hand away. It’s like a game. He would test the limits as much as he could. There were other people in the car and all I was thinking was, ‘Are they seeing this?’ I just felt so much shame. I always thought that people thought that I wanted something from him … which obviously I never, ever did. I always thought that people thought that I was asking for it”.

Another woman quoted in the article, a former assistant to Walk, Kate Harold, describes working with him as “torture”.

“Every day was a day of fear”, she says. “It was really scary and depressing and probably the worst time of my professional life. Early on in my job, he sat uncomfortably close to me and told me that he could lift my career to extraordinary heights but that I had to be ready to do ‘whatever it takes’. He was clearly implying that I needed to be willing to sleep with him. As he was saying this, he got up close to my face and winked in a very flirty manner. I completely froze up. I was afraid of him. It made me feel horrible”.

The initial allegations of misconduct were made against Walk by former Sony/Columbia exec Tristan Coopersmith last month. She said that in the year she worked for Walk at Sony Music, he regularly made sexual comments to her, grabbed her thigh at business dinners, and – on one occasion – attempted to force her into a bedroom.

Walk quickly denied the accusations, calling them “upsetting” and “untrue”. Meanwhile, his currently employers – major label Universal and broadcaster Fox – said that they were “reviewing the matter”. Universal has since launched an independent investigation. Walk also decided not to take part in the finale of the Fox TV talent show ‘The Four’, on which he was a judge.

Further allegations arose from unnamed women who approached industry commentator Bob Lefsetz, who published them in his Lefsetz Letter email. This resulted in threats of legal action against Lefsetz by Walk’s lawyers.

Asked to comment on the latest allegations, Walk again denied any wrongdoing. In a statement, he said: “I did not do these things and this is not who I am. 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”.

Read the full Rolling Stone article here.