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Bono Apologizes for Bullying and Abuse Allegations at Charity He Co-Founded

TheWrap logo TheWrap 3/12/2018 Rosemary Rossi

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[Video by Newsy]

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."

Although one individual - former ONE executive director Sipho Moyo -- is the focus of the allegations, Bono said, "the head office failed to protect those employees and I need to take some responsibility for that. In fact, if they would agree, I would like to meet them and apologize in person."

Moyo "vehemently denies" the claims and says she is being smeared.

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