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Makeup Artist Gina Riggi Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Charlie Rose

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Who is Gina Riggi? New Details On Makeup Artist Suing Charlie Rose

We all have cultural figures who, for one reason or another, hold a sacred place in our hearts and minds. For me, it's always been Charlie Rose. Or at least, it used to be. Throughout my childhood I have fond and vivid memories of sitting with my parents, pretending to be interested as Rose would interview celebs and the literati. When the news broke about the sexual assault allegations made against him last year, I was as bummed out as anyone. Who is Gina Riggi? She's Rose's former longtime makeup artist, and now she's suing Rose for reasons that are just as bad as you'd expect. 

1. Meet Gina Riggi 

Formerly revered talk-show pundit Charlie Rose experienced a serious fall from grace when he was outed at the beginning of the #MeToo movement. It looks like the hits aren't done coming, either. Currently, Rose is facing allegations of harrassment coming from Gina Riggi, who was his longtime makeup artist. It's sad news all around. On Thursday of last week, Riggi's attorneys filed their lawsuit where they made claims that Rose "bulled, demeaned, and harrassed" Riggi when she worked for him both on the The Charlie Rose Show and Charlie Rose: The Week.

RELATED: How To Make #TimesUp & #MeToo About Me And You

2. Bloomberg's Role In The Case 

Riggi, for all her time working for Rose, also has serious credits to her name, having worked with stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Angelina Jolie. According to reports, Riggi worked for Rose for more than 20 years. She described the Bloomberg studio where Rose worked as a "sexual hunting ground," a pretty damning allegation. In addition to naming Rose and his production company in the lawsuit, Riggi is also suing Bloomberg who has already released a statement which says: "At no time was the plaintiff an employee of ours. We understand that the plaintiff was a contractor of Charlie Rose Inc., and given that they operated independently of us, any of her compensation would have been handled solely by Charlie Rose Inc."

3. Riggi's Lawyer Goes To Battle

Though the charges are grave and no doubt daunting for Riggi, she has a strong legal team at her side fighting the case for her both in the courtoom and in the court of public opinion. When contacted for comment, Riggi's lawyer, Patrick J. Walsh, issued a scathing commentary on Rose to USA Today: “For years, Charlie Rose subjected Ms. Riggi to a toxic, misogynistic work environment, sexually harassing her female co-workers, and demeaning, degrading and belittling her and other women who worked on the show. Shecomplained to Bloomberg supervisors, who knew about the behavior, but they did nothing to stop it.”

RELATED: Founder Of #MeToo Rape Kit Speaks Out After Being Accused Of Trying To Profit Off Sexual Assault

4. The Details Of The Charges 

When you hear about cases like this in the news, you assume that the facts of the case are all going to revolve around details of sexual harrassment and assault, but this case against Charlie Rose is a little bit different. You see, while other women have accused Rose of inappropriate sexual behavior and assault, Riggi's allegations also include references to casual physical violence that are tough to read. According to the suit when they were working together on set Rose would "regularly swatted at her physically as she attempted to comb his hair or adjust his makeup. 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. She resorted to using a large hand mirror as a shield so that Rose could not physically assault her."

5. Riggi's Firsthand Account

Riggi made the bold decision to speak up and approach HR about Rose's behavior on set and he retaliated in a mean and child-like way, asking younger female staffers to touch up his makeup or hair between takes rather than asking Riggi. In addition to this, he'd also make disparaging and rude comments about her weight in front of other staff members. Can you even imagine having to put up with that? In the lawsuit that was submitted by her lawyers, the green room at Charlie Rose became "a hub for the show's female staff and interns, who congregated there to take refuge from Rose's harassment and abuse."

RELATED: The Full List Of Bill Clinton Sexual Assault Allegations By 12 Different Women

6. Refresher On A Scandal 

The part that makes me the most sad, is that when she went to the Bloomberg folks in the hopes of making real change, according to the lawsuit they basically said, "'Just Charlie being Charlie," as if that was a legitimate response. To refresh you, in case you need it, last year a Washington Post story outted claims of harrassment from 27 women in total. A second story with more allegations came not long thereafter and Rose was fired by both CBS and PBS. Currently, three of his former co-workers have outstanding lawsuits against the pundit awaiting their day in court. 

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.