Bono says sorry over bullying accusations in his charity

LONDON • One woman said she was demoted after refusing to become intimate with a government official.

No wonder then that U2 frontman Bono (right) flew into a rage after a charity he co-founded was rocked by accusations of bullying, abuse and sexual coercion in its Johannesburg office in South Africa.

He apologised to former employees of the charity, ONE, who have detailed on social media and in a British newspaper what they said was demoralising treatment by managers from late 2011 to 2015.

Bono said the charity, which aims to "end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa," had failed to protect the workers.

"I need to take some responsibility for that," he said in a statement issued over the weekend.

"We are all deeply sorry. I hate bullying, can't stand it."

Seven former employees have now begun legal action against the charity, seeking £3.6 million (S$6.6 million) in damages, according to a spokesman for ONE.

Bono himself was not named in the filing.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2018, with the headline 'Bono says sorry over bullying accusations in his charity'. Subscribe