Longtime anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News Tom Brokaw is being accused of inappropriate workplace behaviour in the 1990s.
Former NBC correspondent Linda Vester and an anonymous source claiming to be a production assistant made the accusations in a story published by The Washington Post.
Vester said she was speaking out because NBC News did not hire an outside counsel to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.
She accused Brokaw, who was married at the time, of entering her hotel room uninvited to suggest an “affair of more than passing affection.” He then allegedly tried to force a kiss without her consent.
The anonymous alleged production assistant accused the journalist of pulling her into a small enclave in the NBC office, pressing her hands against his chest and asking her to come to rendezvous at his office later that evening.
On Friday morning, Brokaw issued a statement denying Vester’s allegations.
“I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her request, 23 years ago because she wanted advice with respect to her career at NBC,” Brokaw said in a statement released through NBC News. “The meetings were brief, cordial and appropriate, and despite Linda’s allegations, I made no romantic overtures towards her at that time or any other.”
Later Friday, The Hollywood Reporter obtained a lengthy email sent by the newsman responding to the accusations, calling them “sensational” and saying he was “ambushed and then perp walked across the pages of the Washington Post and Variety.”
Brokaw also said his family and friends are “stunned and supportive” and that his colleagues at NBC are “bewildered.” He went on to describe in detail his own version of events, completely denying any impropriety on his part, and calling Vester a “character assassin” for going public with her allegations rather than approaching him directly.
Read the full email at THR.
Brokaw, 78, was named anchor of “NBC Nightly News” in 1982; he retired as the broadcast’s anchor and managing editor in 2004, and now serves as a special correspondent.