Bono found himself in the headlines once again for non-musical reasons at the weekend, after negative reports relating to his ONE charity surfaced.
The U2 frontman co-founded ONE in 2004 to help tackle extreme poverty, but the Mail on Sunday reported yesterday that several female members of staff in South Africa had experienced bullying and intimidation during their time with with the charity. One woman said that she had become so depressed after a number of "public dressing-downs" that she began to lose her hair. Another said that she was ordered to 'seduce' a politician, and was demoted when she refused to do so.
Now, Bono has responded to the allegations with a statement saying that he is "deeply sorry" and that he "can't stand" bullying.
Read it in full below:
"We are all deeply sorry. I hate bullying, can't stand it. 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. You question the whole reason you're doing this.
"My team and I heard concerns about low morale and poor management in this office but nothing along the lines of what emerged recently. I was assured that those concerns were being dealt with – clearly, they were not.
I'm thankful that Gayle Smith, ONE's new chief executive (former US Agency for International Development boss), has taken swift and decisive action to address what had gone badly wrong.
"Although the bullying allegations centre on an individual (an accomplished female executive formerly of the African Development Bank and the World Bank), 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 apologise in person.
"While ONE isn't funded by governments or the public, we should still uphold the highest standards the public would expect."