Saturday, April 28, 2018

NBC's Tom Brokaw Says It Ain't So

Longtime NBC News journalist Tom Brokaw is pushing back hard at allegations by Linda Vester, a former network correspondent who said he sexually harassed her in the mid-1990s.

The LA Times reports Brokaw sent a lengthy letter to colleagues Friday that disputes the accounts of Vester, 54, who told Variety and the Washington Post in stories published Thursday night that the former "NBC Nightly News" anchor made unwanted sexual advances toward her when they worked together at NBC in the 1990s.

In his letter, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Brokaw described the stories as a "drive by shooting" by Vester, who had a grudge against NBC News because her career stalled at the division.

Linda Vester
Vester alleged that Brokaw forcefully tried to kiss her in 1994 when she was staying at the Essex House Hotel in New York, where he showed up uninvited. A similar incident occurred in May 1995, she alleged, when Brokaw appeared unannounced at her flat in London when she was assigned to the network's bureau there.

Vester alleged that in both instances, Brokaw pressured her to have a sexual relationship with him. She said she feared that reporting the incidents would hurt her career.

"Linda Vester was given the run of the Washington Post and Variety to vent her grievances, to complain that I tickled her without permission (you read that right) that I invaded her hotel room, accepted an invitation to her apartment under false pretenses and in general was given a free hand to try to destroy all that I have achieved with my family, my NBC career, my writing and my citizenship," Brokaw wrote.

"My family and friends are stunned and supportive. My NBC colleagues are bewildered that Vester, who had limited success at NBC News, a modest career at Fox and a reputation as a colleague who had trouble with the truth was suddenly the keeper of the flame of journalistic integrity."

Brokaw said after Vester's contract was not renewed at NBC News in 1999, he made a call on her behalf to then Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes, who hired her as anchor.

Meanwhile, Former news anchor Tom Brokaw has withdrawn as a Connecticut university's commencement speaker after facing allegations of sexual harassment, the school said. Sacred Heart University said Brokaw notified school officials of the cancellation Friday.

University president John Petillo said he respects and agrees with Brokaw's decision to keep the focus on students at the May 13 ceremony.

NBC won’t be launching a full internal investigation into new sex harassment allegations against former news anchor Tom Brokaw, network sources told Page Six on Friday.

“She’s given her side, and he’s responded. They don’t feel there’s anything left to investigate in the case,’’ an NBC source said, adding, “We may make further inquiries if more information emerges.”

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