Tom Brokaw is facing new allegations of unwanted sexual advances toward a female colleague, “including a forcible attempt to kiss” the accuser.
The accusations risk tarnishing Brokaw’s reputation as a well-respected newsman for NBC. Brokaw retired from the anchor desk of NBC’s “Nightly News” in 2004, assuming the role of “special correspondent” and appearing often as a commentator on “Morning Joe” and special political coverage, including election night shows.
The allegations against him are said to have occurred in the 1990s. Former NBC News correspondent Linda Vester, who was in her 20s at the time, said she did not file complaints at the time.
For his part, Brokaw denied the accusations. In a statement issued by the network, Brokaw said, “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. 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.”
Vester gave a series of exclusive interviews to Variety in which she recounted the alleged encounters in graphic detail, saying she was terrified it would ruin her career.
NBC News has been hit hard by the #MeToo movement, with “Today Show” anchor Matt Lauer being ousted from the show quickly after several women came forward with stories of harassment and unprofessional behavior by the network star. Contributor and “Morning Joe” regular Mark Halperin was fired by the network after several allegations surfaced about his aggressive, unwanted advances in the past.
NBC News also had the opportunity to break the Harvey Weinstein story, in which scores of women alleged sexual harassment, unwanted advances, and rape, but the network passed on the story by employee Ronan Farrow, saying it wasn’t ready. Farrow took the story to the New Yorker Magazine and won a Pulitzer Prize for it.