‘The Four’ Judge Charlie Walk Placed on Leave by Record Label Amidst Sexual Misconduct Allegations
UPDATE: Charlie Walk will not be attending The Four season finale. In a statement given Wednesday evening (January 31), the judge said he didn't want to be a distraction during the taping.
"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.
On Monday (January 29), Life Lab founder Tristan Coopersmith wrote an open letter to Charlie Walk, detailing the fear and disgust she felt during her year of employment with him. From lewd comments made in his office, to a forceful proposition during a party at his house, she laid out everything the Republic Records Group president and The Four judge did to make her feel uncomfortable and unsafe in the workplace.
On Tuesday (January 30), two more women anonymously came forward with their own horror stories, publishing letters in Bob Lefsetz's Lefsetz Letter music industry email newsletter describing inappropriate encounters and comments made by Walk when both worked for him at Republic.
Now, Republic is speaking up about the allegations. "Republic Records is committed to a safe workplace environment where employees are treated fairly and respectfully," the company said in a statement. "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 in leave for the duration of the investigation."
Walk has denied Coopersmith's initial allegation, calling it "untrue" and "upsetting."
"It is very upsetting to learn of this untrue allegation made by someone who worked with me 15 years ago, without incident," he said. "There has never been a single HR claim against me at any time during my 25+ year career, spanning three major companies. I have consistently been a supporter of the women's movement and this is the first time I have ever heard of this or any other allegation — and it is false."