On Monday, Charlie Walk, president of Republic Records (a division of Universal Records), was accused of sexual misconduct in an open letter written by his former staffer Tristan Coopersmith. She alleges Walk hired her when she was 27, opened numerous professional doors for her, and repeatedly made sexual advances and inappropriate comments on her appearance while they worked together. Walk denied the allegations. Less than 48 hours later, two more accounts of Walk’s inappropriate workplace behavior surfaced—this time, anonymously, through a music industry email newsletter.
Billboard reports that in the Tuesday, January 30, edition of the popular music newsletter the Lefsetz Letter, written by critic Bob Lefsetz, two women shared stories of how Walk manipulated them while working together and fixated on their appearance in conversation. One of the women said Walk made explicit sexual remarks about her after she was laid off from Republic Records (via Digital Music News):
“One time after I was laid off from Republic he twirled me in front of Joe Carozza, Republic’s head of PR, and said something like, ‘She’s so hot, look at her, I can say it now that she doesn’t work for us.’”
The other woman shared that Walk “would take a perfectly normal business encounter and steer it toward objectifying me,” and that he would “completely disregard anything I had to say about work (which could be hugely embarrassing, awkward and degrading when said in front of other members of the company).”
The second woman, who writes that she is a married, business owner who worked with Walk years ago, says she had “warned other women behind closed doors” about his behavior, but never said anything publicly.
Universal Music Group, the major label that owns Republic Records, announced on Monday that the company will review the allegations. One of the women in the Lesfetz Letter was a former Republic Records employee, and it is unclear if Universal or Republic have made any other plans with respect to Walk’s employment at this time.
We have reached out to Republic Records for comment on the two allegations of sexual harassment against Walk, and will update this post if we hear back.