Republic Records President Charlie Walk Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Republic Records president Charlie Walk is the latest music industry luminary to be accused of some form of sexual misconduct.
On Monday (Jan. 29), Tristan Coopersmith, who once worked under Walk at what Billboard believes was Sony Music's Epic Records at the age of 27, published an open letter accusing him of sexual misconduct onto the website for her Southern California wellness studio Life Lab. In the story, she describes herself as being a young and determined 27-year-old who ended up being demoralized by Walk's alleged behavior.
"For a year I shuddered at the idea of being called into your office, where you would stealthily close the door and make lewd comments about my body and share your fantasies of having sex with me," she wrote. "I was 27. No previous experience had taught me what to do in such a situation. So I laughed it off, gently reminded you that you were married with children, and tried to change the subject. But you were relentless."
According to Coopersmith, that behavior extended beyond the office, too. She claims the music exec sent her vulgar instant messages, placed his hand on her upper-thigh under the same table his wife was sitting at. Eventually, his advances moved beyond the realm of suggestions and crude language when he once pushed her onto his bed. His wife was just next door.
After a year working under Walk, Coopersmith says she worked up the nerve to speak up about her experiences with her boss. Talking to a similarly high-level executive in the workplace, which Billboard believes to have been Epic Records where Walk worked as president from 2005-2009, she learned there was nothing that could be done. She was, however, offered the chance to make a "graceful exit."
"I was paid to keep my mouth shut and my reputation intact," Coppersmith continues in her account of some disturbing events in the workplace. "I’m ashamed of that piece but it’s a truthful part of my story. I took that dirty money and moved to LA."
Years later, Walk started her Life Lab in Los Angeles, a place she calls "a women’s sanctuary devoted to self-love, growth and empowerment." She says she left the entertainment industry after realizing there were many, many more where Walk came from.
This news arrives just two months and change after music industry icon Russell Simmons was accused of sexual misconduct by 11 different women. He's since stepped down from work at virtually all of his companies.
According to Billboard, Universal Music Group is now conducting an investigation into Walk's behavior. On Monday, UMG offered the statement, "While it appears this blog post relates to the period prior to Mr. Walk’s appointment to his position at Republic Records, we take the allegations very seriously and intend to conduct a full and complete review of this matter."
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