Tom Brokaw says he does not intend to read this "rough draft" of a letter widely.
But he was released Friday – an extraordinary defense of his character and a rejection of former NBC colleague Linda Vester's allegations of sexual harassment. He describes Vester's remarks to the press as a "drive-by shoot".
Brokaw, the former leader of "NBC Nightly News," is one of the country's best-known journalists. He is currently a special correspondent for NBC News. He feels his reputation is polluted. And he believes that he is the true victim.
In the letter sent to several colleagues, Brokaw said Vester was a "character murderer" with a "grudge against NBC News."
"It has sparked a flood of unfounded criticism and attacks on me, more than twenty years after I opened her door and a new Fox News job," Brokaw said in a letter from was received from CNNMoney.
Vester was a young reporter on NBC when Brokaw harassed her, she claims, in the early 1
"I was picked up and attacked by Tom Brokaw, the then leader of" NBC Nightly News "," Vester said in a video interview with Variety.
Both Variety and The Washington Post interviewed Vester after stories released on Thursday.
The post story was part of a wider investigation of sexual harassment issues in NBC News.
Vester told the Post that she had contacted herself because "NBC has failed to engage an outside lawyer to investigate a genuine, long-standing problem of sexual misconduct in the newsroom."
Vester's lawyer on Friday reaffirmed this point in a statement written in response to Brokaw's letter, saying her client "observed that the company's response does not seem to be seeking a safer and fairer job for them To create women. "
NBC news anchor Andy Lack said in a note on Friday: "We take such allegations very seriously and act swiftly and resolutely when the facts require it."
According to today's show presenter Matt Lauer, who was fired last year, Lack said at the time that an internal review was underway, "what happened and what we can do to create a culture of greater transparency, openness and Build respect for each other. "
In his memo from Friday, Lack said the" review is nearing completion. "
Vester was a correspondent and presenter at NBC until 1999, when she switched to Fox News. She left Fox and the TV business in the mid-2000s.
Brokaw's Friday letter confirmed that he played a key role in the launch of Roger Ailes, who later became head of Vester to Fox News.
"When he got into trouble in sexual matters, this woman did not look at it," Brokaw wrote. Ailes, who died last year, left Fox News in 2016 for sexual harassment he has repeatedly denied.
Throughout the letter, Brokaw introduced Vester as an angry former employee who "left NBC upset that she had failed in her quest for fame".
"It's 4am on the first day of my new life as a blamed robber in the universe of American journalism," he wrote in the first paragraph. "I was lured into an ambush and then the culprit went over the pages of the Washington Post and Variety as avatar of male misogyny, robbing guillotine and depriving of all the honor and achievement I had acquired in over half a century of journalism and citizenship. "
The controversy has caused Brokaw to withdraw his name on Friday as the opening speaker at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.
After the letter was published by The Hollywood Reporter and cited by other outlets, Brokaw told CNNMoney that it was "a rough draft" and "I did not intend it to be published in this form."
He said he had completed the final version, "just in time to hear that the design was unleashed".
He did not respond immediately to a request for further comments.
In the letter, Brokaw said, "I'm not a perfect person, I made mistakes, both personally and professionally."
But he said he "did not verbally and physically attack them," as described in the interviews.
Brokaw said, "I deeply resent the pain and anger she inflicted on my wife, daughters, and granddaughters," adding, "I'm proud of who I am as a husband, father, grandfather, journalist and citizens are Washington Post and Variety can not mitigate that, but in this one piece of sensational statements they're trying. "
CNNMoney (New York) First published on April 27, 2018: 4:11 pm ET