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Some witnesses "expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley," Variety reported.
They described the longtime TV personality as creating a "verbally abusive and threatening environment" and raised concerns about retaliation, according to Variety.
He said the allegations "led to a rush to judgment" and trampled "on a reputation that I have spent an entire lifetime trying to establish." Smiley is the latest broadcast host to face misconduct allegations in recent weeks.
In its statement, PBS said it had "engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr.Smiley alleged that investigators refused to look at certain documentation, refused to interview any of his current staff members, refused to give him the name of any of his accusers, and "refused to give me any semblance of due process." "It is clear that this has gone too far," he said. PBS overreacted and they launched a sloppy investigation.It's time for a real conversation in this country about where the lines are, about how men and women can engage each other in the workplace.Smiley has written more than 18 books, including several that became New York Times bestsellers. In 2009 TIME magazine named him to its list of "The World's 100 Most Influential People." He has received a W. But growing up, Smiley was raised in a poor, Pentecostal family in a trailer outside Kokomo, Indiana.He lived alongside nine siblings and cousins, along with his stern mother and stepfather, he wrote in his memoir, "What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America." His stepfather once beat him and his sister so brutally they were sent to the hospital and then to foster care for almost six months, Smiley wrote.