Two Women Accuse Tom Brokaw of Inappropriate Workplace Advances in 1990s
Former NBC correspondent Linda Vester and an anonymous source claim that the NBC News special correspondent made unwanted advances and acted inappropriately to them in the 1990s.
Two women have accused veteran broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw of inappropriate workplace advances in a Washington Post story about the aftermath of #MeToo accusations at NBC News.
Former NBC correspondent Linda Vester and an anonymous source who claims to have been a production assistant allege that the NBC News special correspondent made unwanted advances and acted inappropriately to them in the 1990s, when Brokaw was an NBC Nightly News anchor, in the story, published Thursday.
Brokaw contributed to the network's coverage as recently as Saturday, during Barbara Bush's funeral, and was also part of NBC News' coverage team for the State of the Union address this year. He has been one of the marquee names for NBC News for decades, working for the network in numerous roles since 1966 and anchoring its news programming.
The news comes months after the ouster of former Today Show co-anchor Matt Lauer, who faced his own allegations of misconduct and was fired in November. He was replaced on Today by Hoda Kotb, who now co-anchors with Savannah Guthrie.
Vester, who said that she was speaking out because NBC News had not hired an outside counsel to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct, alleged that the then-married Brokaw once invited himself over to her hotel and said he wanted to initiated an "affair of more than passing affection." She says he attempted to forcibly kiss her against her wishes and made unwanted advances once more a year later.
The anonymous source alleged that, when she was a 24-year-old production assistant, the journalist once pulled her into a small enclave in the NBC office, pressed her hands against his chest and asked her to come to his office after his show that night.
In a statement to The Washington Post, Brokaw acknowledged that he had met Vester on two occasions but denied any misconduct, calling the meetings "brief, cordial and appropriate." Brokaw did not recall any incident with a production assistant.
The story also contains new allegations against Lauer from one woman who says he exposed himself to her in his office and requested she touch him, and another who said she and Lauer had sex in the middle of the day in his office. The accusers were not named in the story.
Former Today co-host Ann Curry additionally alleges that a female staffer came to her in 2012 with claims that she had been "sexually harassed physically" by Lauer. Curry says that she "told management they had a problem and that they needed to keep an eye on [Lauer] and how he deals with women." An NBC spokesman told The Washington Post that it had no internal record of Curry's alleged comment to management.
Lauer later released a statement to The Washington Post, saying: "I have made no public comments on the many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me over these past several months. ... I remained silent in an attempt to protect my family from further embarrassment and to restore a small degree of the privacy they have lost. But defending my family now requires me to speak up."
His statement continued, "I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC. However I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false."
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to NBC News for comment.
April 27, 6:35 a.m. Updated with Lauer statement.