NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw has been accused of sexual harassment. According to a report by Variety, former news correspondent Linda Vester has accused the former NBC Nightly News anchor of trying to force himself onto her in the 1990s.
Vester claims that Brokaw tried to force her to kiss him, groped her in an NBC conference room, and even showed up to her hotel uninvited. A statement from Brokaw provided to Variety by his NBC spokesperson denied her accusations saying, "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."
At the time, the then 28-year old Vester said she did not report the incidents out of fear of destroying her career. Part of Vester's account reads, "There was a culture at NBC News, in my experience, where women who raise questions about misconduct get labeled as troublemakers. It can torpedo your career. I already knew that, so I didn’t want to make any trouble. I had just been hired full-time, and I wanted to be able to do my job. I did my best to collect myself and get on with my work."
A story published by the Washington Post on Thursday night also claimed Brokaw engaged in similar activities with a young production assistant around the same time period. This accuser wished to remain anonymous. Brokaw has denied those allegations as well.
This news follows the surfacing of allegations of "inappropriate sexual behavior" against other notable NBC news anchor Matt Lauer late last year. The accusations against Lauer led to his firing from NBC and tarnished his reputation in the process. While no actions have been brought down on Brokaw by NBC yet, a similar outcome would not be surprising.
Despite coming forward with her story, Vester insists she will not be filing a legal claim against NBC or Brokaw related to the encounters. She ended her recounting of the past incidents by saying, "Even though I know I was not in any way at fault in what happened to me with Brokaw, I still suffered years of humiliation and isolation. I really do hope that by me telling my story and by shining this light, Comcast will understand why it’s so essential to hire outside counsel to investigate this deeply rooted problem."