Bono Apologizes After Charity He Co-founded is Hit With Bullying, Abuse Allegations

Bono in Paris in 2017. The U2 frontman issued a statement on Saturday saying he needed “to take some responsibility” for complaints of bullying and abuse from former workers at the ONE charity in South Africa.
Michel Euler/Associated Press

U2 frontman Bono apologized Sunday after learning that a charity he co-founded was being accused of fostering an environment of bullying, abuse and, in one instance, attempted sexual intimidation.

The allegations about ONE Campaign – a non-profit organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable diseases, particularly in Africa — first surfaced last year, but Bono’s comments come following Daily Mail’s detailed account on Sunday of reported incidents, including one from a woman who said she was demoted from her job at ONE after feeling pressured to have sex with an elderly Tanzanian MP.

“We are all deeply sorry. I hate bullying, can’t stand it,” Bono told Daily Mail. “The poorest people in the poorest places being bullied by their circumstance is the reason we set up ONE. So to discover last November that there were serious and multiple allegations of bullying in our office in Johannesburg left me and the ONE board reeling and furious.”

Legal action against the charity was filed by several former employees, and an investigation was launched. ONE’s chief executive officer, Gayle Smith, told Daily Mail that the investigation found evidence of “unprofessional conduct” and “bullying and belittling of staff.”

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SOURCE: TheWrap, Rosemary Rossi