NBCUniversal Fires Vice Chairman Ron Meyer After He Admits To Hush Money Payments Following Affair, Alleged Extortion

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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NBCUniversal executive Ron Meyer was fired Tuesday after it was discovered he tried to cover up payments to keep a woman, whom he admitted to having an affair with years ago, quiet.

Meyer alleged that the “settlement” was made “under threat” after the woman “made false accusations against” him. He added that he did have “a very brief and consensual affair with” this woman “many years ago.” The former vice chairman of NBCUniversal told his bosses after people discovered the payments, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“I recently disclosed to my family and the company that I made a settlement, under threat, with a woman outside the company who had made false accusations against me,” Meyer said in a statement, the LA Times reported. “Admittedly, this is a woman I had a very brief and consensual affair with many years ago.”

“I made this disclosure because other parties learned of the settlement and have continuously attempted to extort me into paying them money or else they intended to falsely implicate NBCUniversal, which had nothing to do with this matter, and to publish false allegations about me,” he added. (RELATED: Comcast Shareholders Decline A Call For Outside Investigation Into NBCUniversal Over Sexual Harassment Allegations)

NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell confirmed the firing, which is “effective immediately.” (RELATED: Andy Lack, Chairman Of NBC News, To Step Down And Transition Out Of Company)

“I am writing to share some unfortunate news. Late last week Ron Meyer informed NBCUniversal that he had acted in a manner which we believe is not consistent with our company policies or values,” Shell wrote a company memo, according to Deadline. “Based on Ron’s disclosure of these actions, we have mutually concluded that Ron should leave the company, effective immediately. We thank Ron for his 25 years of service, and for his significant contributions to NBCUniversal.”

Meyer said he “will miss” the people at NBCUniversal and expressed “regret” for “what has happened.”

“I’ve spent 25 years helping to grow and support an incredible company in a job I love,” Meyer said in the statement. “It is the people at this company that I will miss the most. I regret what has happened and I am sorry for all the people in my life I may have let down, especially and most importantly, my family.”

NBCUniversal has been plagued with accusations in recent years. Journalist Ronan Farrow accused the company of major coverups in his 2019 book – including allegedly killing multiple sexual assault allegation stories.

The company has repeatedly refused to conduct an external investigation regarding the accusations, but launched an internal investigation after allegations against former host Matt Lauer, who was fired in 2017, came to light.

The internal investigation found no “contrary evidence” that Lauer misbehaved before Nov. 27, 2017, which was 48 hours before he was fired. NBC News has denied the past allegations against it from Farrow in multiple staff-wide memos.