Former Republic Group president Charlie Walk, who left the company earlier this year amid multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, has resurfaced as a consultant for UnitedMasters, the new company launched by music industry veteran Steve Stoute.
Stoute confirmed Walk’s position to Rolling Stone after it was first reported by Billboard. UnitedMasters “provides premium music distribution services and facilitates unique partnerships between artists and the world’s biggest brands,” according to its website.
”I hired him as a consultant to work on some radio strategy for us,” Stoute told Rolling Stone in a statement. “I know Charlie and his wife Lauren really well. During the entire crisis, I’ve spoken to him. Before I considered bringing him on as a consultant, I sat down with his wife and my rationale was very simple: His wife stayed with him. She believes him. He denied it. Who am I to go any further than that? If there was anything more to it — like if his wife left him or whatever — I would’ve probably had a different point of view on it. I felt after talking to his wife that I wasn’t doing anything that was wrong using him as a consultant. It was fine. That’s what I assumed.”
Stoute was asked if he read the reports by several women alleging Walk’s misbehavior.
“I read some of it,” he said. “Obviously, there is concern anytime there’s women’s rights involved or anybody’s rights. I’m an African-American man. I don’t like African-Americans not being treated fairly. I don’t like women not being treated fairly. I don’t think gays and lesbians should be treated unfairly. I come from struggling to get my voice heard and get fair treatment. So certainly that gave me concern. Any inequality gives me concern.”
Tristan Coopersmith, Walk’s former employee at Columbia Records, posted an open letter to Walk in January that led to several women adding their voices to the sentiment:
“For a year I shuddered at the idea of being called into your office, where you would stealthily close the door and make lewd comments about my body and share your fantasies of having sex with me,” she wrote, adding he would put his hand on her thigh and “whisper disgusting things into my ear and I had to smile so that no one suspected anything. On multiple occasions your wife was sitting right across from us.”
Walk was a judge on the Sean Combs-produced singing battle “The Four,” which had its season two finale on Fox in August.
photo: Charlie Walk (John Richard)