There’s trouble brewing in the mainstream media world as an ex-employee is suing CBS for sexual harassment and lays out some salacious claims for his case.
“I have symptoms of PTSD from this,” Kenneth Lombardi told the New York Post saying that CBS brass would drunkenly and repeatedly try to grope and kiss him.
Lombardi, 29, was working as a video producer at CBS where, he said, his repeated complaints about sexual harassment were ignored. His lawsuit lists a number of offenses and the names of the alleged offenders to go with them.
At one point, Lombardi said he reached out to Albert “Chip” Colley who directs the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” for work advice. Colley suggested they meet in a gay bar, where he supposedly became highly intoxicated and pressured Lombardi into admitting that he is bi-sexual.
“He was sending me porn on my phone while he was talking about my career,” Lombardi said.
“I just turned 28 at the time, Chip was in his mid-to-late 50’s, and had been in the business for at least 30 years – he’s heavily connected – and he was running Scott Pelley’s news show,” Lombardi said.
“I was terrified.”
Lombardi claims the sexual harassment continued after that incident into the hallways of CBS’s Midtown offices.
“I have text messages and e-mails,” Lombardi told the Post.
“While I was being attacked by Chip, I was texting my brother, ‘Oh my God, I’m about to be raped. Please, God, help me,” he said.
Lombardi’s suit also contends that Duane Tollison, then senior producer at CBS Radio Inc., drunkenly groped and tried to kiss him at a company holiday party.
Lombardi ran away and left the party in horror, the Post reported.
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According the suit, Tollison emailed Lombardi the next day and wrote, “Hey! I had such a great time last night. And it was so nice to hang out with you. But I wanted to apologize if anything I did offended you or crossed the line. I like to get a little crazy.
“If you weren’t offended, then let’s do it again. LOL……. How is your day so far? :),”
Lombardi’s suit says, he took his complaints to his immediate boss, Paula Cohen, who wasn’t at all sympathetic to his plight. The human resource department stonewalled him, according to the Post.
No comments have been made by the defendants but a CBS spokesperson said, “While CBS takes all allegations of workplace misconduct seriously, we believe Mr. Lombardi’s claims are without merit and we intend to vigorously defend this lawsuit.”
Lombardi compared CBS’s “hush” treatment to “the Catholic Church or Penn State,” according to the Post.
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