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‘There was a culture at NBC’: Former reporter accuses Tom Brokaw of sexual harassment in a big way

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Tom Brokaw, the Trump-bashing former NBC News anchor, has been accused of sexual harassment by at least two women. One of the alleged victims, former NBC News reporter Linda Vester, claims Brokaw repeatedly tried to kiss her and showed up at her hotel room or home several times.

Vester made the bombshell allegations to Variety, saying she went public because she feels NBC has a seedy, sexist culture, as evidenced by its handling of the Matt Lauer harassment debacle.

 

Vester described one incident that allegedly occurred in 1993:

He grabbed me behind my neck and tried to force me to kiss him. I was shocked to feel the amount of force and his full strength on me. I could smell alcohol on his breath, but he was totally sober. He spoke clearly. He was in control of his faculties.

I broke away and stood up and said, “Tom, I do not want to do this with you. If I did, I would leave for London with a loss of innocence and I don’t want to go down that road.” I had just been promoted to foreign correspondent in the London bureau.

He sat there for what felt like minutes and he finally said, “I guess I should go.” I said, “Yeah.” And he got up and tried to kiss me again on the way out as he left.

Vester recalled another occasion in 1993 in an NBC conference room in Denver:

I’m standing there, and Tom Brokaw enters through the door and grabs me from behind and proceeds to tickle me up and down my waist,” she says in a video interview.

I jumped a foot and I looked at a guy who was the senior editor of ‘Nightly [News],’ and his jaw was hanging open. Nobody acted like anything wrong was happening, but I was humiliated.

Vester claims Brokaw sent numerous flirtatious messages to her and made repeated romantic overtures. She said she didn’t speak out earlier because she was afraid NBC would destroy her career.

“There was a culture at NBC News, in my experience, where women who raise questions about misconduct get labeled as troublemakers,” she said. “It can torpedo your career.”

A second anonymous woman, who was a former production assistant, made similar sexual harassment accusations against Brokaw to the Washington Post. No details of those encounters were provided.

Tom Brokaw issued a statement denying all the accusations: “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.”

Linda Vester said she’s not seeking any money and has no plans to file a lawsuit, but merely wants to shine a spotlight on the troublesome sexist culture at NBC. “Linda is literally seeking nothing for herself,” Vester’s attorney said. “She comes forward at her own expense and at her own peril.”

NBC and other liberal media outlets have viciously attacked President Trump as a sexist and a misogynist. But it appears that many Trump critics have skeletons in their own closets that are far worse than anything he has been accused of.

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Samantha Chang

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