Legendary NBC News presenter Tom Brokaw is the latest public figure to be charged with sexual misconduct after a couple of messages describing the allegations against him by former NBC correspondent Linda Vester and another unnamed woman , Brokaw, 78, has vehemently rejected the allegations, and his current and former colleagues have gathered in his defense.
The saga began on Thursday when the Washington Post and Variety released a few reports containing allegations against Brokaw. The Post report focused on the culture within NBC News, including allegations against the now dismissed Today show host Matt Lauer and earlier complaints about Brokaw. Variety released a video interview with Vester.
In both reports, Vester says that Brokaw twice made in the 1
Brokaw said nothing like this happened, describing his meetings with Vester as "short, cordial and appropriate," and he denied the incident with the former production assistant. He wrote a late-night e-mail, which was fully published by the Hollywood Reporter, claiming he was "attacked and then crossed" by the reports.
More than 60 of his current and former colleagues, including Maria Shriver, Rachel Maddow, and Andrea Mitchell wrote a letter defending Brokaw as a man of "tremendous decency and integrity."
Linda Vester and another unnamed woman say Brokaw made unwanted approaches to her in the 1990s
Vester, now 52, was hired NBC News was "prepared" as a foreign correspondent in 1989 and became Weekend Today in 1989 Full-time correspondent. She claims that her first negative experience with Brokaw came when the anchor in a conference room came up behind her and tickled her "up and down". She told Variety that "nobody behaved as if anything wrong happened," but she felt "humiliated" by her interaction with "the most powerful man in the network."
In interviews with Both The Post and Variety, Vester recounts two meetings with Brokaw in 1994 and 1995, in which he made progress and tried to kiss her.
She says Brokaw sent her a computer message when she was in New York in 1994 and asked her what she was doing that night. She replied that she was heading back to Washington DC before an incoming blizzard – and he asked her to stay in New York to drink with him before saying, "No, too risky." She said she answered him and said, "I only drink milk and cookies," and then, more pointedly, "There's nothing I like more than a great conversation with someone I admire, but if the bill is a problem is that valid. "
Vester says she called a friend who sounded the alarm and after she had missed her flight to DC returned to her hotel and accepted Brokaw's suggestion to come to him. That's what Vester told the post on his arrival:
"What do you want from me?" Vester asked. She remembered looking at her slightly annoyed. "An affair that is more than temporary affection," said Brokaw.
"But you're married," she said. "And I'm a Catholic."
Then Brokaw dabbed beside him on the sofa, she said as she sat down on the other end of the couch. She raised a case of sexual harassment that had recently been exposed to NBC to signal that she was not interested in what she was up to.
Brokaw leaned forward, "pressed his index finger to my lips and said," This is our contract, "she wrote in her diary at the time." My heart trembled. I was completely cold.
Then, "very fast," Vester later said in an interview, put his hand behind Brocaw's neck and grabbed her head, "Now let me show you how to give a real kiss," he said in Vester's memory and she nodded at him, remembering how she strained her neck muscles and used all her strength to free herself and stood up, writing, "I said, Tom. , , I do not want to do this to you. "
Brokaw sat in silence for a few minutes and finally said," I think I should go. "Vester nodded vigorously."
She says the next day he held out his hand
Vester says that in 1995, when she was in London, she heard again from Brokaw, who left a slip of paper on her desk on which She said it to her. He went to the restaurant with friends and he appeared in the restaurant and finally went back to her flat with her, saying she was trying to kiss her by force, and after she did
The Post also spoke to a woman who spoke as a production assistant at the age of 24 in the 1990s. "He put my hands under his jacket and against his chest, pulling me so close Come on and ask me, "How's your job search?" she said to the post office She said he invited her to his office but she did not leave.
Neither of the women reported the incidents.
Brokaw denies hement all allegations against him
"I met Linda Vester in pairs of occasions, both at her request, 23 years ago, because she wanted advice regarding her career at NBC," said Brokaw in a statement issued by NBC. "The meetings were short, warm, and appropriate, and despite Linda's accusations, I did not make any romantic approaches to them at this time or any other." He said he also shot down the allegations of the unnamed woman.
Brokaw offered a furious defense of himself in a long e-mail released by the Hollywood Reporter. The e-mail begins:
It's 4:00 am on the first day of my new life as a blamed robber in the universe of American journalism. I was lured into an ambush, and then the culprit went over the pages of The Washington Post and Variety as an avatar of male misogyny, snatching guillotine and depriving me of all the honor and achievement I had earned in over half a century of journalism and citizenship  I'm angry, hurt and indignant with what I thought was the last stretch of my life and career, a mix of written and sent journalism, philanthropy, and participation in environmental and social concerns that have always given my life a special meaning have given. Instead, I face a long list of complaints from a former colleague who angered NBC News that she had failed in her quest for fame. She has caused a flood of unfounded criticism and attacks on me, more than twenty years after I opened her door for her and a new job at Fox News.
He tells his own version of his interactions with Vester, acknowledging that he actually did. They were supposed to have met with her, but should not have left and "emphatically not physically and physically attacking them and having an affair in language outside the pulp." Fiction suggested ".
Brokaw also says that he helped her introduce Fox News to Roger Ailes after she said she was interested in the burgeoning network. He points out that Vester has never complained about Fox News or Ailes, who were forced out of the network in 2016 on several allegations of sexual misconduct against him, and suggests he has "grudges" against NBC News.
NBC News chairman Andy Lack wrote a memo to employees after Brokaw's email was released, which was also published by the Hollywood Reporter. He noted that Brokaw "emphatically rejects the allegations", but that the network "takes such matters seriously" and stated that Lauer, the former Today co-anchor, was disempowered soon after allegations became known.
The #Metoo Talk in the Media is Far from Over, Also at NBC
Several current and former colleagues of Brokaw, who left his anchorage in 2004 but remains a special correspondent at NBC, have prevailed in his defense , More than 60 female producers, correspondents, researchers, assistants, editors, and others who have worked with Brokaw in a letter, said he treated "each of us with fairness and respect" and described him as a "man of great decency and integrity." characterized. MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski tweeted, "Add me to the list."
The network faces a difficult task to address the Brokaw allegations, especially as questions about what has happened to Lauer remain.
Lack, NBC News & # 39; chair, said when the network Lauer shot in November that it had received a complaint about "inappropriate sexual behavior" from Anchor just days before. Lauer's colleagues, including the current Today co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, were stunned. But the question of what NBC knew when, remains, especially since several women have reported. A former employee told the Wrap in November that Lauer's behavior was an "open secret" on the network.
Ann Curry, a long show today show, who was ousted as a co-anchor in 2012, told the post she was alerted by a staff member that she was "sexually molested" by Lauer in 2012 and informed the management, but nothing was done. She said there was a "pervasive verbal sexual harassment" at NBC that she completely abandoned in 2015.
The Post's report from Thursday drew not only a response from Brokaw, but also from Lauer, who has remained out of the limelight since his release Today . He said that his relationships with women are consensual and that "any allegations or reports of violent aggressive or abusive behavior" are "completely wrong".
NBC said it was conducting a "thorough and timely review" last year. what happened to Lauer and will share what he learns, no matter how "painful" it is. Five months later, the review is still ongoing.