Dan Rather reacts to Charlie Rose harassment allegations

DENVER -- They worked together at CBS, on the news magazine "60 Minutes II," and Dan Rather has appeared on Charlie Rose's PBS show dozens of times over the past three decades.

On Monday night at a speaking event in Denver, Rather said the harassment allegations against Rose caught him by surprise.

"It was a shock to me, the revelations coming out. And if true, and I have no reason to doubt them whatsoever, this is a tragedy. Mostly a tragedy for the young women who were involved in it," Rather said.

"My hope is, and I see some signs, that this may be a signal moment. A change, if you will, in the culture of the country, where women are able to speak up and do speak up more.

"And that men listen more carefully, and look to their own selves about how can I improve, and how can I help women."

Rather, former anchor of the "CBS Evening News," was in Denver for a speaking event with Tattered Cover Book Store, promoting his new book, "What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism."

Rose has been suspended by CBS and PBS after eight women accused him of sexual harassment. The story broke Monday in the Washington Post.

The women accuse the "CBS This Morning" anchor of groping, making unwanted sexual advances, lewd phone calls and even walking around naked in their presence.

PBS says Rose's show, which also airs on Bloomberg, will stop production immediately, and CBS said he's suspended as it looks into the matter.

In a statement, Rose said he is deeply sorry for his inappropriate behavior and is greatly embarrassed.