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Bono Apologizes for ‘Bullying’ and ‘Unprofessional Conduct’ at Charity He Co-Founded

”The head office failed to protect those employees and I need to take some responsibility for that,“ U2 frontman says of alleged activity at ONE

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

“We are all deeply sorry. I hate bullying, can’t stand it,” Bono told the Daily Mail in a story published Sunday about ONE, a nonprofit organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable diseases, particularly in Africa.

“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.”

ONE CEO Gayle Smith, told Daily Mail that charity’s own investigation of the accusations — after they were first reported last year — found evidence of “unprofessional conduct” and “bullying and belittling of staff.”

Bono’s comments follow the Daily Mail’s story in which a female ONE employee said she was demoted after reporting that she was pressured to have sex with an elderly Tanzanian MP.

Although one individual — former ONE executive director Sipho Moyo — is the focus of the accusations, 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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