Bono Apologizes After Charity Is Plagued By Bullying Allegations

Bono is left "reeling and furious" about allegations at One.
Bono is left "reeling and furious" about allegations at One.

U2 singer Bono has apologized after claims of bullying and abuse emerged at One, the charity he co-founded.

Among the allegations are that one female worker was demoted after refusing to "become intimate" with a foreign government official, report the BBC and the Daily Mail. When she refused, she was demoted to receptionist and had her salary slashed, she claims.

The woman's manager reportedly made "sexist and suggestive comments" about her to the official.

Bono told the Mail on Sunday newspaper: "We are all deeply sorry. I hate bullying, can't stand it."

The newspaper said the charity publicly admitted the issues hours after it had sent a long list of allegations at the end of an investigation, in order to allow One to comment.

The statement from the charity's CEO, Gayle Smith, said former employees had notified the organization earlier this week about pending legal action over their complaints.

It said "historical issues" of mistreatment emerged in November when some former employees from its Johannesburg office told their stories on social media.

Taken together, the astonishing complaints depict an organization driven by intimidation and contempt, with staff belittled and undermined, both in front of colleagues and in public.

The charity also failed to pay taxes – despite campaigning against tax evasion – and is alleged to have illegally employed foreign workers on tourist visas.

Bono last night said he was “deeply sorry” for the situation, which he admitted had “gone badly wrong.”

He said he was left "reeling and furious" about the scale of the allegations and vowed to meet victims to apologize in person.

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