Republic Records and Charlie Walk “have mutually agreed to part ways,” according to a statement from the label obtained by Variety. Walk, the company’s former president, was accused of sexual harassment by five female former employees of Republic and two Sony Music labels where Walk was formerly employed.
Walk was first accused publicly of sexual harassment in January in an open letter written by Life Lab founder Tristan Coopersmith, who worked with Walk when he was an executive at Sony Music’s Columbia Records. Allegations from four other women were published in Rolling Stone late in February.
Says Coopersmith in a statement to Variety: “I applaud all the women who shared their truth and I am gratified that Universal created a safe process for them to do so. This behavior in the workplace will only stop when we band together, unafraid. TimesUp.”
Walk was placed on leave from Republic Records after the first allegations surfaced, as well as cut from the season finale of Fox series “The Four,” on which he was a judge. He also retained Patricia Glaser, the same lawyer representing Harvey Weinstein, to fight the claims against him.
A rep for Universal Music Group, of which Republic is a subsidiary, told Variety when the allegations first emerged, “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.”
On Wednesday (March 28), a representative for Universal declined to comment on the results of that investigation, or to elaborate beyond the written statement. A source at Republic told Variety that as of Monday, Walk’s office was as he had left it when he went on leave.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Walk said: “I did not do these things and this is not who I am. Throughout my career I have always sought to conduct myself professionally and appropriately. It is upsetting to be presented with false claims from long ago that I know to be untrue and were never reported. I support the national discussion taking place right now because I believe fully in the importance in treating everyone with respect and dignity at all times.”
Walk’s career as a radio promotion executive dates back to 1990 when he saw the first of more than 50 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits with New Kids on the Block’s “Step By Step.” A 19-year veteran of Sony Music, he joined Republic Records as EVP in 2013, rising to President in 2016.