Al Franken found himself receiving a lot of support from his time on "Saturday Night Live" Tuesday, as three dozen women from his two decades there backed an open letter in his defense.
Meanwhile, Wendy Williams opened up about a groping she experienced on-air during the early years of her show and Jeremy Piven passed a polygraph test when asked about sexual assault allegations against him.
In other Hollywood harassment news today, Charlie Rose was fired from his CBS and "CBS This Morning" co-hosts talked candidly about the allegations he's facing, Melissa Gilbert detailed a "humiliating" audition experience, and the latest Harvey Weinstein revelation pulls brother Bob deeper into the scandal.
Wendy Williams Remembers On-Air Grope, Internet Goes to Work
While discussing the ongoing Charlie Rose scandal at CBS on her show Tuesday, Wendy Williams recalled the time she was groped on television during the early years of her talk show. Williams got pretty specific in the details without naming the perpetrator, but viewers watching from home were quick to fill in the gaps on social media.
"My worst guest? I'm not going to name, but I can tell you this, it had to do with some groping," Williams said. "You all saw it and I didn't say a word. And I felt it and I didn't say a word. My staff saw it and that guest will never be here anymore."
"I hug my guests," she siad. "He hugged me but lays in my breasts inappropriately and I didn't know what to do because I am brand new on TV ... After the hug, he looked up at me, he goes, 'Oh! You're not Oprah!"
Twitter sleuths immediately went to work, pulling up footage and images from Gilbert Gottfried's April 2011 appearance on the show, and linking to this 2011 article that details his appearance, including the line, "You're not Oprah!"
36 "Saturday Night Live" Women Staffers Support Al Franken
In an open letter, 36 women who worked with Al Franken on "Saturday Night Live" have come out in support of their former co-worker, and current U.S. senator. "What Al did was stupid and foolish, and we think it was appropriate for him to apologize to Ms. Tweeden, and to the public," the letter said. It was signed by women include costumer designers, writers and even former castmembers like Laraine Newman and Jane Curtin. Franken worked on "SNL" for two decades from 1975-1995.
"In our experience, we know Al as a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honorable public servant," the letter stated. "That is why we are moved to quickly and directly affirm that after years of working with him, we would like to acknowledge that not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior; and mention our sincere appreciation that he treated each of us with the utmost respect and regard."
Franken was accused by Leeann Tweeden of groping her breasts during a USO tour and made her uncomfortable rehearsing a sketch involving a kiss. Franken apologized and said he would support an ethics investigation into the incident. He has since been accused by another woman of inappropriate behavior.
After facing allegations of sexual assault by actress, Playboy model and reality star Ariana Bellamar last month, Jeremy Piven denied the claims and said he'd be willing to take a polygraph test to prove his innocence. It looks as if he followed through with that, based on a new report that detailed the results of the polygraph, as well as the specific questions and answers provided.
He took additional tests regarding the two other woman who have come forward, Tiffany Bacon and Amy Meador, as well as a general test about possible assault against any women. He passed all of these tests with no notable signs of deception, per the polygraphist.
Charlie Rose Fired, Rebuked on "CBS This Morning"
Charlie Rose has been fired from CBS following allegations from eight different women of sexual misconduct. His "CBS This Morning" co-hosts addressed the allegations against him directly at the top of the broadcast. After reporting on the story, each woman made a strong personal statement rebuking their former co-host.
"I've enjoyed a friendship and a partnership with Charlie for the past five years," said Gayle King. "I've held him in such high regard and I'm really struggling because what do you say when someone who you deeply care about has done something that is so horrible?"
"This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women,” Norah O'Donnell added. “Let me be very clear: There is no excuse for this alleged behavior. It is systematic and pervasive."
In a statement, Rose said, "I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior ... though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken."
Bob Weinstein Allegedly Paid Settlements to Cover for Brother Harvey
Bob Weinstein is now being pulled further into the sexual harassment scandal that has taken down his brother, Harvey. Bob has denied being aware of his brother's alleged decades of sexual misconduct, but a new report in The New Yorker purported that Bob paid off two different women a substantial amount of money in the 1990s to cover for Harvey.
Zelda Perkins was Harvey's personal assistant, and alleged that she was harassed constantly by the mogul, but never physically assaulted. The second woman was Perkins' assistant, who came to Perkins to accuse Harvey of sexual assault in 1998. Harvey allegedly denied her story at the time. Perkins said both women quit their jobs and threatened legal action.
According to the report, the women ultimately settled with Bob from his personal bank account for 250,000 pounds (approximately $600,000 by today's standards) in exchange for the women signing non-disclosure agreements.
Bob confirmed making the payment to The New Yorker, but said, "I only know what Harvey told me, and basically what he said was he was fooling around with two women and they were asking for money ... but there was nothing to indicate any kind of sexual harassment."
Harvey Weinstein has been accused by more than 50 women of sexual assault and harassment. He has denied all of the claims.
"I had auditioned, and then he said: 'I've written this special scene for you. I'd like you to do it with the actor. I want to see the chemistry with the two of you,'" Gilbert said. "The whole scene was just my character on her hands and knees saying, 'Do me, baby.' Really dirty, horrible." Gilbert said she had been asked to stay after for this special scene, but refused to do it and left in tears.
Gilbert believes Stone humiliated her in this way in response to an incident where he "was talking about how television was crap and he would never do it. Then, all these young girls came running over to meet me because they were watching 'Little House on the Prairie' ... I said, 'You see, asshole, that's television. That's what television does."
Oliver Stone has been accused of groping former Playboy model Carrie Stevens during a party. He has not yet responded to these allegations.