Tom Brokaw is responding to accusations of sexual harassment with a vigorous denial.
The longtime NBC news anchor has fired back at media reports that allege Brokaw made unwanted sexual advances towards former NBC co-worker Linda Vester. In a letter to colleagues obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Brokaw said he “was ambushed and perp walked” by the reports “as an avatar of male misogyny, taken to the guillotine and stripped of any honor and achievement” he earned in his decades of TV journalism.
Brokaw also detailed his recollection of his interactions with Vester in the letter, denying any wrongdoing and referring to her allegations as “a long list of grievances from a former colleague who left NBC News angry that she had failed in her pursuit of stardom.” Vester, an anchor who worked at NBC News before moving to Fox News, accuses Brokaw of groping her and trying to kiss her on a number of occasions in the 1990s. Brokaw doesn’t deny meeting with Vester, but insisted in a statement released through NBC that “I made no romantic overtures towards her at that time or any other.”
Serving as the anchor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004, Brokaw is still a special correspondent for NBC News, appearing often on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. NBC News chairman Andy Lack emailed staffers on Friday to acknowledge the Brokaw accusations, while noting that Brokaw “emphatically denies them,” adding, “We take allegations such as these very seriously, and act on them quickly and decisively when the facts dictate.”
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Dozens of Brokaw’s current and former NBC News colleagues, all women, signed a letter of support on Friday, calling Brokaw “a man of tremendous decency and integrity” and saying he “has treated each of us with fairness and respect.” Those signing the letter include MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Andrea Mitchell and Today correspondent Maria Shriver.