"Nearly immediately following the meeting, this story broke in Varietyas an 'exclusive.' Indeed, I learned more about these allegations reading the Variety story than the PBS investigator shared with me, the accused, in our 3 hour face to face meeting", the statement continued.
Walmart had been a sponsor of Smiley's show and an upcoming touring theatrical show. "The totality of the investigation, which included Mr. Smiley, revealed a pattern of multiple relationships with subordinates over many years, and other conduct inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS".
"Tavis Smiley" has aired nightly on various PBS stations since 2004, but the network only distributes the show and doesn't finance its production or employ Smiley or his employees.
A representative for PBS declined to specify the nature of the allegations against Smiley.
Former Tavis Smiley producer Jacquez Hyzagi hinted at allegations of misconduct in a February essay for the Observer that described a supervising producer as Smiley's "alleged occasional love interest". "This has gone too far".More news: Crytek Sues Star Citizen Developer Over Copyright Infringement
PBS responded to Smiley's accusations by saying it stands by the integrity of the investigation. He has been with PBS for 14 seasons and some 3,000 episodes. Television and was working with J.J. Abrams to turn his new book about Michael Jackson's last days and death into a limited TV series.
A spokeswoman for the show, which focuses on the past year of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life before his assassination in 1968, said it is still scheduled to come to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on April 2. One that did, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, said: "We just learned of these allegations and at this time will reserve comment".
The "Smiley" suspension comes on the heels of the network's similar detachment from Charlie Rose's late-night program in November, following sexual harassment allegations made against Rose.
Sources told the publication that witnesses stated that Smiley created a "verbally abusive and threatening environment".
Also in his statement, Smiley alluded to a "consensual relationship" he had with a colleague and said PBS' refusal to provide him with names of the accusers has stripped him of his due process.