On Thursday evening, Variety reported that former NBC News anchor Linda Vester said Tom Brokaw—famous for anchoring NBC Nightly News for 22 years as well as hosting Today and Meet the Press—sexually harassed her when she was 28 years old and working for NBC in the mid-’90s.
Vester alleges in Variety’s report that Brokaw forcibly attempted to kiss her on two occasions, groped her in an NBC conference room, and arrived uninvited to her hotel room one time. Variety conducted a series of interviews with Vester over the course of several months and corroborated her claims with two of her friends and journal entries from the time.
Vester’s attorney, Ari Wilkenfeld, said of his client’s decision to come forward:
“What Linda is doing, like others before her had done, is to give her truthful account in the hope that other women will not have to endure what she did. Linda is literally seeking nothing for herself. She come forward at her own expense and at her own peril. By her being willing to go on the record, perhaps this will embolden other brave women to tell their stories.”
Brokaw denied Vester’s allegations in a statement, saying:
“I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her requset, 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.”
Vester told Variety that she never reported her claims to NBC’s HR department because she feared it would damage her career prospects. In 1999 Vester left NBC for a gig at Fox News anchoring her own show, which she sustained until 2006.
Another woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to The Washington Post on Thursday, said that Brokaw sexually harassed her when she was a 24-year-old NBC News production assistant in the ’90s. The alleged incident occurred when she was in a hallway, having just arrived for work. Brokaw allegedly approached her, beckoned her towards an enclave, took her hands in his, and commented upon their chilliness. Then, in the woman’s words, “He put my hands under his jacket and against his chest and pulled me in so close and asked me, ‘How is your job search going?’” Then she recalled Brokaw saying, “Why don’t you come into my office after the show and let’s talk about it.”
Brokaw has been married to Meredith Auld since 1962 and was never accused of sexual harassment until now.
You can watch the Vester’s full video interview with Variety here.